Rainy, cold days make me crave something hearty. I find just that in this dish! Comfort in the mashed potatoes, warmth in the stew inside. And using cubed lamb instead of ground gives it just that little something extra! If you like Shepherd’s Pie, give this recipe a go! Remember: if you use beef, you are making cottage pie, not shepherd’s pie.
1 lb Cubed boneless lamb shoulder
2 Tbs. flour
Salt and Pepper
About 2 T Olive oil
1 White onion, peeled and chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Parsnips, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 Bunch of Rosemary leaves
150 g canned plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C. Red wine
2 Large Russet potatoes, cubed
2 T Heavy Cream
4 T Butter
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Place the lamb cubes in a bowl, then add the flour and seasoning and toss until evenly coated. You want your pieces to be roughly 1/4 inch each.
- Heat a large pan and, when it’s nice and hot, add the olive oil and lamb cubes and fry until browned all over. Add the onion, parsnips, carrot and garlic to the pan, and throw in a large pinch of rosemary leaves and the tomatoes. Pour in the wine and stir well so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Leave in the same pan or transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover and bake in the oven for an hour.
- While that is cooking, peel the potatoes, boil them in salted water until cooked through, then drain well. Heat the cream gently then pour over the potatoes. Add a knob of butter and mash well until smooth and creamy.
- Take the lamb out of the oven, spoon over the mashed potatoes, then turn up the temperature to 400°F and bake for about 20 minutes or until bubbling and crispy and brown on top.
Ok, so not going to be in the light and healthy category any time soon, but when it’s grey and rainy outside and the weather is crisp, you need to indulge in something like this.
I always use cubed lamb for my shepherds pie. I love the texture of the lamb when it cooks slowly in a rich sauce like this. I went to Whole Foods and asked the lovely butcher to cube some boneless lamb shoulder for me. They were kind enough to do this for me! But the pieces were a little larger than I like them, so I cut them in half when I got home.
So, you’ve got your oven preheating to 375 F. Take your delicious lamb cubes and just gently toss them in some flour, salt and pepper.
Before you start cooking the lamb, go ahead and get all of your veggies cut up. The lamb doesn’t take very long to cook, so you want to be prepared. Once you’ve browned the lamb on all sides (maybe about 5 -10 minutes), toss in your carrots, parsnips, onion, rosemary, tomatoes and garlic. Some people throw in some celery – I’m not a fan of cooked celery, so I use parsnips instead.
Pour in some red wine (other recipes call for veggie stock but the red wine gives it a certain richness that I love) and let it cook down for a few minutes, stirring to keep the veggies and meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Transfer the delicious combo to a baking dish, cover it with foil, and put it in the oven. It will cook for about an hour.
While the insides are cooking, prepare your mashed potatoes. I just cube up my potatoes and boil them for about 20 minutes (until soft). Drain them. Warm your heavy cream for just a few minutes in a small sauce pan and melt your butter in the pot you boiled your potatoes in. Put your drained potatoes in with the butter and begin to mash. Season with salt and pepper and pour in your heavy cream. Whip the potatoes adding in more cream if you need to.
Pull the lamb out of the oven and spread or pipe the potatoes on top. Turn your oven up to 400 F. Sprinkle the top of your potatoes with some shredded white cheddar cheese if you want to then put it back in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.
I ate the left overs for lunch the next day, as did my non-leftover eating dinner guest, and it was JUST as delicious as it had been the night before. So comforting and delicious.