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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The best shepherds pie EVER!

My recent trip to Florida took me to a lifelong friends home where I was served the best shepherds pie I've ever had. He was nice enough to share the recipe with me.
I'll share the link to the original recipe, however, his version was easier and possibly better. <http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/shepherds-pie-recipe2.html>  I tweaked it in my own way as well. What's the point of following a recipe to the line when your taste buds might enjoy a change? Hope you like it as much as I did! Now if my kids could just like it as much....
Shepherds pie:

1 hour 30 minutes from start to finish is expected. 

Ingredients

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds potatoes
1/4 half and half (I used milk)
2 ounces unsalted butter 
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg YOLK

For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup chopped onion 
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used garlic powder)
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb (I used 2 pounds of ground turkey, he used beef which has a better texture in this)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste (We used ketchup)
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

The directions provided by the recipe found in the link shared are long and can be summed up easier.
The basic version: make the mashed potato layer like you would normal mashed potatoes but with the ingredients listed. Also, measure out the potatoes to how much your family uses. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
While the potatoes are cooking, start working on the meat filling layer as follows:
Place your oil in a pan and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onions and carrots and sauté just until they begin to take on color, about 3-4 minutes. (I added bell pepper as well.) Add your garlic and stir. Add your meat, salt and pepper and cook until brown and cooked through. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat while cooking another minute. Add the tomato paste (ketchup), chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and herbs (you can use any herbs you like), stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10-12 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. 
Add the corn and peas to the mixture and spread evenly in your pan.
Top with your mashed potatoes. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes turn a golden brown.
Let it cool slightly before serving. When I pulled mine out, I topped with cheese and set back in the warm oven to melt. The kids usually prefer cheese. 
Quick kitchen tips:
If you use bell peppers and onions, make sure you take time to chop and dice them then freeze when you get home from the store.
Then it's quicker to use when you're cooking. 

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