Shepherd’s pie

I was in the mood for some comfort food and realized I’d never made this classic. Meat in one hand, mashed potatoes in the other. Put your hands together! My two favourite food groups in one dish.


adapted from

1½ lbs russet potatoes
¼ cup half-and-half
2 oz unsalted butter
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 egg yolk

2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ lbs ground lamb
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
½ cup fresh or frozen peas

Boil water in medium saucepan. Peel potatoes, cut into pieces, and add to boiling water. Cook until tender and easily crushed. Drain potatoes in colander and put through potato ricer into saucepan. Stir in butter until melted, then half-and-half, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in yolk until well-combined.

Preheat oven to 400 F. While potatoes are cooking, prepare filling. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and sauté until they begin to take on colour. Add garlic and stir to combine. Add beef, salt and pepper and cook until cooked through. Sprinkle meat with flour and toss to coat, and continue to cook for another minute. Add tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, and herbs, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the meat mixture and spread evenly into an 11″ x 7″ glass baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up. Bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack and for at least 15 minutes before serving.


A few notes on preparation: I substituted beef for the lamb (which essentially makes this “cottage pie” rather than shepherd’s pie). I also didn’t have rosemary, so I went with tarragon.

Definitely a successful dish. The filling was flavourful–earthy and round–and full of vegetables to make things mildly healthy. Huzzah! Also made for great (if not a lot of) leftovers.

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