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Lamb it up with Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie

So after I made the lamb the other night for dinner, we naturally had some leftover. Finding something to do with leftover lamb can seem a little daunting as it is not something that always reheats well without some help. I have found that the best solution for using leftover lamb is to grind it up and use it for shepherd’s pie. Cold, leftover lamb lends itself well to being ground up in the food processor or you could simply dice it up small and use it that way. In either case, it is very easy to make and makes a great one pot meal. I have tried a few different shepherd’s pie recipes over the years, but I came across this one from Alton Brown on the Food Network website that seemed very easy to make and would give you some great flavors.

Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 ounces butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
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

Peel the potatoes and cut them into a 1/2-inch dice. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover them with cold water. Set the saucepan over high heat, cover and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, uncover the pot, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return them to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Stir in the yolk until it is well combined.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola or vegetable oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set it over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer slowly for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread the mixture evenly into an 11 by 7-inch baking dish. Top the lamb mixture with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the baking dish on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake the pie for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove the pie to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

This is a very simple and tasty way to make use of leftover lamb or to just use some ground lamb that you may have. You get a nice mix of vegetables, meat and sauce with a great mashed potato topping. if you don’t want to use lamb, you could always used ground beef, turkey or chicken, but for me to really call it shepherd’s pie you need the lamb and that particular lamb flavor that you get. All you need to do is  cut yourself a slice and enjoy your meal with a simple cleanup after dinner.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

shepherdspie

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Lamb, Leftovers, One Pot Meals, Potatoes

 

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While Shepherd’s Watch By Night, They Eat Shepherd’s Pie

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. We had a great day filled with lots of love and laughs and plenty of good food, which I will be getting to over the next few days or so. It was a packed meal with lots of great recipes that I have to share. in the meantime, I do have a recipe to share that I made just before the holidays. I had some lamb that I had used to make a meal early in the week and decided to grind it up to make some shepherd’s pie, one of our favorite meals. I actually made this one right in my trusty cast-iron skillet to make things even easier. This recipe is from Cook’s Country and was very easy to make.

Shepherd’s Pie

Filling:

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped fine

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped fine

2 pounds ground beef or lamb

Salt and pepper

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup beer

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves

1 cup frozen peas

Topping:

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

Table salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup heavy cream, warmed

Ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

For the filling, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it is foaming. Add the onion and the carrots and cook until they are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the meat, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 12 minutes. Add the flour and the tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste begins to darken, about 1 minute.

Add the heavy cream and cook until it spatters, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, beer, soy sauce and thyme leaves and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick but still saucy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the frozen peas, adjust the seasonings to taste and transfer the mixture to a broiler safe 2-quart casserole dish.

For the topping, adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring the potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and water to cover the potatoes to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan and mash the potatoes with the butter and heavy ream until they are smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the potatoes over the filling, using a spatula to smooth out the top. Brush the topping with the beaten egg and drag a fork across the top to make ridges. Bake until the filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Turn on the broiler and cook until the top is golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Just a couple of quick things about this recipe. If you prefer to use ground beef instead of lamb, it is easy to substitute. For the beer in this recipe, I used a basic lager (Samuel Adams in fact) but I think any mild beer would work well here or even a nonalcoholic beer if you prefer. The flour and cream mixed with the beer and soy sauce and tomato paste make for a nice, thick filling with great flavor. The topping is really just a basic mashed potatoes recipe, so if you have any leftover mashed potatoes you could also use them instead. In the past, I have also made a layer of mashed turnip or rutabaga to really add another layer of flavor. This one is a favorite around our house and I make this a few times a year.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another great recipe. I have quite a backlog of recipes to share now, so there are some great things ahead, including a roast lamb, roasted prime rib roast with vegetables and chimichurri sauce, melted potatoes, green bean casserole,French onion soup,, Swedish meatballs, homemade pizza rolls,baked beans,skillet pizza and more. I also got some new kitchen toys for Christmas to add to my arsenal and some new plans for the blog for the coming year, so keep checking back to see what is next. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on December 26, 2013 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Lamb, One Pot Meals

 

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Recipe Roundup: British Favorites

Recipe Roundup: British Favorites.

For everyone who will be watching the Olympics in London starting tonight, Williams-Sonoma offers up some classic British recipes. I’ve tried several of them and they taste pretty good so they are worth a look (especially the Black & Tan!). Check them out and try a few.

I’ve had a number of doctor appointments lately so I haven’t had much time for blogging, but I hope to add a few of my own recipes this weekend. Stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Cooking, Cooking Websites

 

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Lamb, Redux

Okay, so I have leftover lamb from dinner yesterday, leftover turnips and some mashed potatoes from a few days ago. This all adds up perfectly to make a Shepherd’s Pie. It will be quick, easy and a great way to use up the leftovers. You can make shepherd’s pie with ground beef instead of ground lamb if that suits your tastes better, but since I have the lamb anyway, and that is the traditional ingredient, than why not?

Shepherd’s Pie

3 cups lamb, cooked and diced

1 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup beef broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 cups  cooked and cooled mashed potatoes

2 cups cooked, pureed and cooled turnips

Take the 3 cups of lamb and run through a food processor until ground. Set aside. In a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, ground lamb, broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spoon the hot lamb mixture into a baking dish. Spread the turnips over the top of the mixture evenly, then spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the turnips. Place the dish in the oven and cook until the potatoes start to brown and the edges of the pie begin to show some bubbles, about 7 minutes. Serve directly from the baking dish.

You can serve the pie with some nice, crusty bread, which I’ll  be doing since I forgot to serve the bread last night with dinner and have not heard the end of it from Michelle and Sean :). A quick meal, easy clean up and a good use of what is left over from previous meals.

Tomorrow’s meal will be from scratch and it’s going to be a good one. I’ll be making Chicken Marsala in the slow cooker tomorrow with some rice on the side. It’s the first time I’ll be making it in the slow cooker, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. If you have any questions, comments or any input at all, feel free to leave a comment or message here. I hope everyone had a nice, long weekend and enjoy your meal tonight!

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes

 

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Saturday’s Leftovers and Next Week’s Plan

Today is a day we had marked to use for leftovers and we do have some things left from the week. Tonight for dinner, we are going to have hot open-faced pot roast sandwiches on some bread from Rockland Bakery with some mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s all left over from last night’s meal. We’ve done a good job with any other leftovers this week, with Michelle bringing stuff for lunch all week, so there really isn’t too much left to anything with tonight other than what we had yesterday.

So that leads me up to next week’s meal plan. We’ve decided to go with all one pot meals this week to try to make things easy for clean up, and we’re also going to use the slow cooker twice this week to try to ease things as far as time for cooking. I am going to try to start using the slow cooker on Monday’s meal, since this seems to be the busiest day of the week for me with everything that goes on around here. This week, however, I will be utilizing leftovers from Sunday’s meal to make Monday’s meal. So, here’s the plan for this week:

Sunday: Roast Leg of Lamb, Baked Potatoes, Cauliflower, and Turnips

Monday – Shepherd’s Pie

Tuesday – Chicken Marsala (this one is done in the slow cooker)

Wednesday – Black Bean Stew (our meat-free meal of the week)

Thursday – Jambalaya

Friday – Beef Stew (also done in the slow cooker)

Saturday – We are marking as a leftovers day. Saturdays, for us anyway, often seem ideal as a leftover day since we usually try to just relax all day long, or we’ve done chores all day long and no one feels like thinking about meals or cooking.

The Shepherd’s Pie on Monday will use any leftover lamb from Sunday as well as the leftover turnips. The Chicken Marsala on Tuesday is a slow cooker recipe that I’ll be using, but you can also make it traditionally. I thought it would be fun to try it in the slow cooker and see how it comes out. The other meals are great one pot meals to make, even if the Jambalaya requires quite a bit of prep work as far as cutting and chopping. Thursdays also seem to lend themselves well to our seafood meal of the week since I often have the time to get fresh seafood on Thursday mornings. Some of the ingredients I am using this week are a little out of the norm for what you may have around the house, such as the lamb for the shepherd’s pie (if we weren’t having it on Sunday, I wouldn’t be making it at all), Marsala wine for the Chicken Marsala, andouille sausage for the Jambalaya, and black beans for the Black Bean Stew. Other than those items, I didn’t have to shop for anything that we didn’t already have around the house, really bringing the shopping bill down for this week, which is great. If you want to use the same meal plan layout that I follow, you can get it here:family_meal_planner

That’s about all I have to post for today. It’s been a pretty lazy day for me other than the shopping I did, so I think I’ll get back to lounging for the rest of the day :). If you have any questions, comments or recipes that you might like to see, please let me know. Any and all input is appreciated. I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend so far and have a great Saturday night!

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Meal Plan Menu

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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