As my British relatives tell me, Shepherd’s pie must be lamb, if you use beef, it is called cottage pie. I am staying true to the title and using lamb!
I start by browning 1 pound of ground lamb. Once brown if there’s a lot of fat you can take a piece of paper towel and remove some of the fat. Otherwise once it’s completely brown then you add the spices and onion. I used half of a red onion put it in the chopper so it was fine.
Then I added some green peas. You can also add carrots or corn if you like that, but I think it takes away from the flavor when you have too much in there. I cook those on medium low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes just to let the flavors marry together, and you want most of the liquid to dry out and absorb into the meat. But you can use higher heat for a shorter amount of time if you don’t have the time to spend.
Since I’m cooking for a few households, I separated them into different serving dishes. But you can put it all in one, a 9 x 9 square pan would work well or a 13 x 9 would be fine.
I pressed the meat down so that it is fairly compact. Then I put a small layer of mashed potatoes on top and spread it out evenly. You want the mashed potatoes to be fairly thinned out, not the way you would normally eat them with dinner, because they are going to dry out in the oven. So I add more milk than I usually would if just making them as a side dish.
Then I added a piece of Munster cheese and topped it with a thicker layer of mashed potatoes. This is my sister’s tip, I’m not sure if it is traditional or not but it tastes great!
You can top this with a little melted butter, or if you’re in a hurry, just use some cooking spray. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Since everything is fully cooked you can also just broil this to get a little crust on top.
Give it a try
Here I used :
1 lb ground lamb
1 medium onion finely chopped or blended
1 cup frozen baby green peas
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of red wine (or stock)
1 tsp of each: ground coriander, cayenne, ground cardamom, and poultry seasoning
4-8 slices of Munster cheese or grate half a bar of cheese
For mashed potatoes:
4-6 medium russet potatoes, boiled
2-3 tbsp butter
1/4-1 cup milk, cream or half and half (depending on how many calories you want to spend!)
Salt and black pepper to taste.