The Shepherd’s Pie is an amazing hearty dish of meat that is topped with a crust of mashed potatoes. Originally called a cottage pie, named after a modest home for rural workers, the potato was added to this popular Irish dish back in 1791 after being introduced as an affordable crop for the poor. The term Shepherd’s Pie didn't pop up until 1877 and was called that because it was primarily made of lamb or mutton. Although not necessary, it can also be made a day ahead and reheats very nicely.
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Cook the Potatoes
Peel potato and cut into 1 inch pieces. Place into sauce pan then cover with cold water. Lightly season water with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and allow to cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain water from potatoes and remove from pan.
Make the Mash
Place sauce pan back on the stove with the heat turned off and then add butter and half of the cream. Place potatoes back into pan and begin to mash with a large fork or wooden spoon. Use reserved cream if needed to smooth out the mixture and add moisture to it. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper then keep covered for later use.
Prep the Veggies
Peel the carrot and onion then dice into ¼ inch cubes. Finely chop the garlic and rosemary. Lastly, remove parsley leaves from the stem, then chop and reserve for garnish. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees for the fifth step.
Make the Filling
Pre-heat saute pan on medium high then add 1 tsp oil. Once hot, add ground lamb and begin to brown. Once the meat has cooked 2-3 minutes, add carrots, onions, garlic and rosemary. Cook for 3-4 minutes then add beef stock. Once that comes to a simmer, check carrots for tenderness and add peas then toss until they are hot for approximately 1 minute.
Prepare the Dish
Remove the dish from heat. Give the mashed potatoes a good mix before covering the filling. Evenly coat the top of the filling in the pan until you can no longer see the filling. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place into oven and allow cheese to brown slightly.
Finish the Dish
With a towel, remove pan from the oven. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scooping out each portion. Garnish with parsley. Carefully scoop out each portion so as not to disturb the potato crust and place into a pasta bowl.
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