This is a fairly basic Shepherd’s Pie recipe, and I suggest you make it your own. As long as you stick to the lamb, tweak it to your heart’s desire (oh, ok – if you insist on beef go ahead, but call it something else, like hunter’s pie). The wacky Quebecois make it with corn between the meat and potato layers (which sounds damn tasty), and you can try whipping some cheese into the potatoes as well. Worcestershire sauce makes a nice addition to the gravy, and there are plenty more options.
What you don’t want to do, at least if you want it to bear any resemblance to a real shepherd’s pie, is add tomato sauce. So don’t.
What you need
1 ½ lbs lamb
2 lbs potatoes
1 large sweet onion
½ C beef stock
½ C chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled
2 celery stalks
1 T flour
1 ½ t rosemary(3 t if fresh)
¾ t thyme (1 ½ if fresh)
What you need to do with it
Mash your potatoes (um, cook ‘em first) with 4 T of butter and some milk. Whip it. Whip it good.
Make a mirepoix (chopped celery, carrot, oinion) and sauté in a pan with copious amounts of butter until soft. Add your lamb and brown. Add your flour and stir, add any other vegetables that float your boat as well (peas don’t suck).
Add the stocks and spices, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Pour the entire delightful mess into a baking dish and allow it to rest and firm up a bit. Spread the mashed potatoes on top, slice a bit of butter and scatter the pats on top of the whipped taters, and put it in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until it’s nicely browned.
Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving from the baking dish.