Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Shepherd’s Pie

Posted by fourclankitchen on November 13, 2010


This is winter comfort food and a family favorite.  When his grandmother makes this, my son (and my dog) beg for it for breakfast (and frequently get it).   I have altered the family version to pack it full of vegetables, although my son claims that his grandmother’s version is in a different zone altogether.  So I present both recipes for the meat eaters (version II)  and for those who want this to be a one pot meat which does not require a vegetable side (Version I).  I also make and bake it in a cast iron skillet, which cuts down the number of dishes used.  My version first:

Shepherd’s Pie (Version 1: full of vegetables)

Ingredients for the meat:

2 lbs 96% grass fed ground beef
1 large onion, diced in the food processor
3 roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped in the food processor
4 slow roasted tomatoes  (I usually have this in the freezer, but substitute sun dried or fresh tomatoes if you dont have these)
3 medium sized carrots, diced
1 large red pepper+ 1 small green bell pepper, coarsely chopped in the food processor
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp pepper
3-4 tsp corn starch (this will depend on the kind of tomatoes used)
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbs. butter+3 tbs.oil
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste

Ingredients for Mashed Potatoes

6 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large pices
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
4 tbs. butter
1 tsp cumin seeds
few grinds of black pepper

Mashed Potatoes:

Make the mashed potatoes, your favorite recipe will do.  Here is mine.  Boil 6 medium sized potatoes until soft.  While the potatoes are boiling,  melt 2 tbs. of butter and fry the onions and garlic on a medium to low flame until the onions are browned and caramelized.  Drain the cooked potatoes and return to the pot.  Add a bit of milk, the remaining butter, salt and pepper.  Using a fork, fluff the potatoes till they feel smooth.  These should be just a little more liquidy than regular mashed potatoes because you will want to spread these on top of the meat.

Meat:

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Melt butter and oil  in the skillet. Add the onions and fry until soft, but not brown. Add the peppers, carrots and the  fresh tomatoes and allow them to cook down, so that very little liquid remains in your skillet.  Add the beef and cook until the beef  is essentially done. Then add the slow roasted tomatoes, peas and corn and cook for a further 5 minutes till the peas and corn are cooked through. Sprinkle the flour 1 tsp at a time and mix well. Gradually stir in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer until thickened, adding one more tsp of corn starch if need. Add  salt and pepper to taste.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the casserole, and dot with additional butter, cut in small pieces. Bake for 25-35 min, until the meat is bubbling and the potatoes are somewhat browned.

Version II (the family recipe provided by JG)

3 Tbs. butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 Tbs. flour
2/3 C. chicken stock
2 C. ground or diced lamb (can also use ground beef, but lamb is better)
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or 1 drained can of diced tomatoes;  the best is slow-roasted tomatoes which follows)
healthy pinch of dried thyme
mashed potatoes for the top of casserole (about 1½ lbs potatoes) with the usual ingredients.)

Melt 3 Tbs. butter in skillet. Add the onions and fry until soft, but not brown. Add the lamb, and cook until lamb is essentially done. Sprinkle the flour over the lamb and onions, and mix well. Gradually stir in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer until thickened. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the casserole, and dot with additional butter, cut in small pieces. Bake in a preheated oven, 375° for 25-30 min. Serves 4.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes (From JG)

2 lbs. plum tomatoes (12-14)
2 Tbs. olive oil
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 250°. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise in half and remove the seeds by poking them out with your fingertip. Toss the tomato halves with the oil, salt, sugar, and thyme in a bowl. Spread them cut side up on a baking sheet. Bake until they are slightly browned on the edges, the skins have wrinkled and they have the texture of a soft prune, 2-3 hours. (I usually find the longer time is necessary). The baking time varies depending on the ripeness and juiciness of the tomatoes.

These can be used in anything – always makes it better. Obviously, as long as you’re doing it, you may as well do at least a double recipe, as they freeze well, and get used in a hurry.

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2 Responses to “Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. I have never made a Shepherd’s pie. This one sounds delicious!

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