Time to wrap up our Shepherd’s Pie experiment, or technically a Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie experiment. Do you remember the difference?
Here was version one – Cottage Pie – Version One – the one with the carrot-potato mash.
This post is about another one we tried – Shepherd’s Pie – Version Two (from this website)
Although the original recipe called for ground beef, I already knew we’d be happier with chunks of meat, and I had some lamb that needed to be used, so I made this recipe with that. I also scaled it down a bit; even so, it serves 4-6, which meant we had leftovers for a couple of meals.
This version doesn’t use mashed potatoes, which helps make it unique. Instead, I was able to use my latest Christmas gift – a mandolin – to thinly slice both Yukon gold and sweet potatoes. It was a fun project, and I liked the crust they made. However, it was also a lot of work, and mashed potatoes are just fine, and even preferable. I’ll get out the mandolin again sometime to make scalloped potatoes.
In one frying pan, brown 1 pound lamb cubes in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. (Could also use beef cubes, or ground meat.) Then stir in 2/3 cup dry red wine and 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Cook until wine is completely evaporated, (this takes a while), then turn off heat and set aside.
In another frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Saute 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped carrots, and 2 garlic cloves, minced, until softened. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, then add 2 cups beef broth and bring to a boil to thicken. Stir in a dash of Worcestershire sauce and season with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Turn off heat and add 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas and the lamb mixture.
Prepare the potato crust. First microwave about 1 pound of peeled and very thinly sliced sweet potatoes in a bit of water for 5 minutes. Repeat in another bowl with 1 pound very thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes. Drain. Arrange 2/3 of the potatoes in a greased deep-dish pie pan or casserole.
Top with the filling, then the remaining potatoes. Brush with melted butter and bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
The baking dish I selected wasn’t big enough, so not everything fit. That’s okay, I turned the regular potatoes and meat mixture into an individual-serving-size freezer meal, and we cooked up the sweet potatoes to serve alongside our Memorial Day chicken. Remember, waste not, want not!
And here’s the third one we tried – Cottage Pie – Version Three – the one cooked in the crockpot with a mashed sweet potato topping, which we actually did first, just because that’s the way it worked out.
Originally we were going to try all four versions from the original article. However, versions one and four were basically identical – the filling was the same, but one recipe added carrots to the mashed potatoes, the other didn’t. We tried the one with carrots, which was good, but we can imagine how it would taste without. Once again, we like plain mashed potatoes on our Shepherd’s/Cottage Pie. While we liked all three fillings, we preferred them with chunks of meat instead of ground meat. Which filling we’ll make in the future depends upon what’s in the refrigerator at the time. It was a fun and delicious experiment, but now it’s over!