All the rain this weekend has me holed up in the kitchen doing some serious "comfort food" cooking! One of my FAVORITES is a classic Shepherd's Pie. Ground meat, mixed with a rich, savory sauce and topped with mashed potatoes and cheese? Sign me up! A true Brit won't allow me to call this a "Shepherds Pie" since I used ground beef instead of lamb but "Cottage Pie" doesn't sound as "homey" to me. There are a few steps to this dish and some assembly required but it is actually pretty simple and KILLER for leftovers. Also...it's GLUTEN FREE! Enjoy!
MARCUS D.'s "RAINY DAY" SHEPHERDS PIE
YIELD: 6-8 Servings
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1.5 lbs Ground Chuck
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large onion
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- 1/2 cup parm cheese
- 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
- Salt and pepper
MASHED POTATO TOPPER:
- 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
- 3 tbsp butter(softened and cubed)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup parm or gruyere cheese
- 1/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- Peel potatoes and cut in half lengthwise twice. Cut into thirds.
- Add potatoes to medium pot and cover with water.
- Bring potatoes to a boil and salt the water. Cook on medium high heat for 7-10 minutes until they are tender and can be pierced with a fork. Drain with a colander and turn off the heat. Using a ricer, add potatoes back to the pot adding cubed butter intermittently and covering with more potato. After adding all the butter, add the cream/milk and stir till combined. For thinner potatoes, add more milk. Don't make them too thin (remember it's a topper)
- Mix in 2 eggs
- Mix in sour cream/creme fraiche. Stir in gruyere cheese.
- Season to taste and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Preheat a medium pan on medium to medium-high heat and add olive oil
- Add in the beef, pressing it in and sear for 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side.
- After searing both sides, mash with a potato masher until fine and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until evenly browned. Remove ground beef from the pan into a bowl and set aside leaving beef fat in pan.
- Add mushrooms to pan with beef fat and allow to sear on one side. Season with salt and pepper after mushrooms start releasing their moisture(about 2-3 mins). Stir mushrooms and continue cooking.
- Grate in carrot, onion, and add diced garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables get soft. Re-add ground beef. Add tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes while stirring until caramelized.
- Add red wine, worcestershire sauce, rosemary and thyme, stir to deglaze the pan and reduce until liquid almost completely evaporated.
- Add beef stock and season to taste. Cook on medium for 1-2 mins.
- Add frozen peas and stir. Cook till the peas are nice and hot
- Add meat/vegetable mixture to a 9x11 greased pyrex pan.
- Top with potatoes and gently cover pan from the outside-in using a spatula.
- Sprinkle parm and gruyere cheese over the top of potatoes. Fork the top of the pie to create peaks.
- Let cook in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese is browned on top. If the cheese doesn't brown, raise the oven rack a place under the broiler (500) for about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it, it will burn quickly.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes to set before serving.
- You don't NEED a potato ricer BUT it will make your mashed potatoes lighter, fluffier, and guarantee no lumps. Consider it a "tool of refinement" and get yourself one. Thank me later.
- If you want a little more texture in your dish, feel free to dice up your carrots and onions instead of grating them in. I've found my daughter will eat more if I "hide" the vegetables.
- Make sure you reduce the red wine step to almost nothing. You want the wine essence with none of the liquid.
- This dish is GREAT "day-of" but MASTERFUL if you make it a day ahead of time and reheat for dinner the next night.