Wee shepherd’s pie

There are very few meals more comforting than a shepherd’s pie. I love a casserole in its many starchy, delicious guises – although some people (ahem, Alistair) think it’s a cop-out and pedestrian at best (ahem, Alistair). Fortunately, he does not consider this a “casserole,” and therefore I am “allowed” to make it.

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I often use shallots or dried onions when I cook because the other varieties do not like me much. And besides which – shallots are so much lovelier to look at.

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These little dishes are the perfect serving size.

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WHAT TO BUY

(borrowed liberally from Zippy Shepherd’s Pie on allrecipes.com)

1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped in quarters
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound ground/minced lamb (or ground beef for cottage pie)
1/2 large shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
1 (14 ounce) can pureed tomatoes
2 finely sliced carrots
2 finely sliced celery stalks
2 cups small peas
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO COOK

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, cooking until soft when a knife is stuck in it (but not so soft it falls apart). Drain, and return to pan.

Saute ground beef, shallots and garlic in oil until beef is evenly brown. Stir in beef broth, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and curry powder. Bring mix to a boil, simmering 4-5 minutes. Mix arrowroot powder with a little water stirring into skillet along with tomato sauce, peas and carrots. Cook until thickened; season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a mini dishes.

Add milk and butter to cooked potatoes, and whip until smooth and creamy adding a little salt & pepper here too. Spoon over meat mixture. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese.

Place under broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and speckled with brown.

Serves: 6
Time: 25 min cook – 20 min prep

Lisa

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