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Welcome to my food blog!

Featuring delicious recipes made healthier and reviews to give you some new ideas, plus, some toddler food ideas.

Shepherd’s Pie With Red Wine

Posted by Ann | Posted in All Recipes, Ann's Favorites, Meal Recipes | Posted on 25-06-2009

Shepherd's Pie With Red Wine

If I see Shepherd’s Pie on the menu anywhere (or something like it) I have to order it!  It’s the ultimate in comfort food with a nice bonus of vegetables.  Unfortunately, it’s not on too many menus in Omaha so I’m forced to make it myself.  Luckily, I found an amazing recipe from Saveur which I’ve tweaked to suit my needs…  as usual.  This recipe calls for lamb - making it shepherd’s pie, but if you don’t want to buy it for any reason, you can substitute ground beef and call it cottage pie!  That’s yummy too.  I love cooking with different meats, in fact, on Father’s Day we had some delicious braised goose with polenta, but we gobbled it up before I could take a picture so I thought I’d make lamb this time.  For a little fyi, I bought some grass-fed lamb at the farmer’s market, and it actually doesn’t taste any better than the lamb at the grocery store.  Interesting since the grass-fed beef is about a million times better than the grocery store versions (I’m talking no added hormone version).  I will continue to buy the grass-fed regardless since it’s better for you, but this lamb was really no different.  Depending on the cut of lamb you buy, you may have to do some major fat-cutting!  Lamb can be pricey, so it’s just more work cutting out fat if you buy a fattier piece.  I can’t stand chewing on fat so I’ll work forever cutting it off if I have to.  If anyone knows of a good butcher in Omaha, let me know!

This kind of food makes my husband happy.  However, this takes forever to make and makes quite a mess!  If you’ve got small kids, I suggest a babysitter or definitely some help before attempting!  In this case, my mom was around to help.  We started at nap-time and then when my son woke up, my mom entertained him so I could keep cooking.  Otherwise, I don’t think I would attempt making anything this time consuming!

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 lbs lamb (any cut that’s on sale, cut into 1/2″ cubes)
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 15oz can chopped San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • 2 Tb flour (or if you’re gluten-intolerant, just substitute what you normally would to thicken gravy)
  • 1 Tb finely chopped FRESH rosemary leaves, fresh rosemary makes a huge difference here!
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried, 1 TB fresh if you have it, I didn’t
  • a few dashes of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 2-3 large russet potatoes, depending on how much you want, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half or 1/2 cup chicken stock to lighten up the mashed potatoes

Method:

  • Pre-heat non-stick casserole dish to medium-high on stove-top (I use the same oven-safe kind so I don’t have to dirty up 2 dishes, but use a pan if you don’t have a transferrable pan)
  • Add enough butter to coat and brown lamb - you’ll have to work with 1/4 to 1/3 of the lamb at a time, removing to a bowl to brown up the next batch.  Add more butter as necessary, remove all lamb to bowl
  • Add onion, shallot and carrots to pan and cook until onion is see-through and browns a little, about 5 minutes
  • Return lamb (and all juices) to pan and add flour, whisk for about a minute.  You can also coat the lamb w/ flour first if you want to or if you forget the flour, just add it when you add the juices, it’ll all work out
  • Add beef stock, wine, rosemary, thyme and nutmeg, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover about 2 hours, until lamb is tender - yours may cook much faster, so keep checking.  stirring occasionally. 
  • Remove cover from pot, add tomatoes, keep simmering until thickened, about 35-40 minutes.  Remove from heat and add peas, add salt and pepper to taste, transfer to 2 quart casserole dish
  • Pre-heat oven to 375
  • Cover potatoes with water in a separate pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes, drain, return to pot.  Add half and half (or chicken stock if you’re making it lighter) and a few tablespoons of butter and mash with a potato masher.  Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Top lamb mixture with mashed potatoes, here’s your opportunity to make those potatoes pretty.  I used 2 instead of 3 potatoes in the picture above, so more of the lamb mixture juices bubble over to the potatoes.  Yummmmm.  Slice thin slivers of butter on top of potatoes - about a tablespoon or two
  • Bake until the potatoes turn golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes

…a little note about the potatoes, it’s prettier when you use three potatoes, but the last time I made this with three and had leftovers, I ended up getting a bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy basically.  So, this time I made it with two instead of three for leftover’s sake.  It would’ve pictured even prettier had I used 3 but of course, I wasn’t thinking of looks, just of the flavor.  I need to remember that I have a food blog and it needs to look pretty, not just taste yummy.  It takes me awhile to learn my lessons but trust me, it’s goooood!

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