Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oh My, Meat Pie - S12E6

Anddddddd we're back!  Sorry for the absense, but we were both too busy (too lazy?) to post anything.  But never fear, we are still cooking up a storm.  For our welcome back meal, Jesse decided to keep it going with the lamb, so we will be making Shephard's Pie.  Also known as "cottage pie", shephard's pie is basically a poor man's pie with a lamb/mutton stew as its base and mashed potatoes as its crust.  Looks and sounds pretty simple, so let's dive in.

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola 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

First thing is to prepare the potatoes.  Peel and dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes, place in a pot, fill with water to cover the potatoes.  Bring bring to a boil then decrease the heat and maintain a simmer for 10-15 minutes.  The potatoes are ready when they can be easily crushed with tongs.  

Drain the potatoes when done.  Then place the half-and-half and butter in the microwave for about 35 seconds to melt.  Then mash the potatoes using a hand blender set to low and slowing added the half-and-half, butter, salt, and pepper.  Finally, work in the egg yolk until you get smooth looking mashed potatotes.

For the filling, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the canola oil into a 12-inch cast iron saute pan and set 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, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the 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 lamb mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. 

Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading it evenly over the "pie" to create a nice seal.  The seal will help from having the stew boil over. Then place the pan on middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.  Make sure to keep a foiled lined cookie tray underneath on another rack in case you sealing technique wasn't up to par and the liquids start to ooze out.  As a customization, Jesse added shredded cheddar cheese to the top of the mashed potoatoes.

Once the top is nice and brown, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes, then serve!

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