Posts Tagged ‘shepherd’s pie’

This shepherds pie is authentic because it is made with lamb; however, I put a twist on the usual by substituting mashed potatoes with a sweet potato purée. A great way to use leftover lamb, this stew has a complex and slightly sweet flavor. The tarragon-studded sweet potatoes add great color and effortlessly meld with the spices and herbs in the stew.


  • leftover leg of lamb (ground lamb may be used)
  • 1 small bowl of green beans cut in thirds
  • 1 small bowl filled with diced onions
  • 1 small bowl of chopped carrots (I used baby)
  • 1/2 bowl of peppers (I used mini red, yellow, and orange peppers)
  • handful or two of Succotash mix (frozen limas, corn, peppers) I used Trader Joes
  • 1 cup of red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • tomato paste (the tube’s great)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 7 sweet potatoes (mine were small-medium sized)
  • cinnamon, turmeric, salt, pepper
  • fresh oregano, sage, tarragon, and rosemary (use what you got)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • a little flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. On a sheet pan, generously coat the sweet potatoes in any oil and sprinkle with salt. This will make them easy to peel. Cook for about 30-40 minutes—until the potato is tender all the way through and the skin is wrinkled. These will be mashed and whipped with a hand mixer to incorporate salt, butter, and light brown sugar to taste. Finish by folding in chopped tarragon.

2. Get a  large pot (preferably not non-stick) nice and hot, drizzle in olive oil, and sauté diced white onions and chopped carrots. I used rosemary-infused olive oil♣. Season with salt and pepper and toss in five sprigs of oregano and sage—stemmed and chopped. These are called aromatics—you’ll see why when you smell the kitchen. Add the fresh green beans too with about five garlic cloves, pressed.

3. When the onions just begin to brown, add the succotash and the wine. Bring to a boil and pour in the beef stock. Bruise two sprigs of rosemary with the back of your knife and bring them to the Jacuzzi. Bring this to a boil and change to low heat. A dash of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, and more salt to taste complete the flavor profile. Don’t forget to remove the rosemary.

4. Melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a pan until it takes on a hazel hue. Incorporate a hefty pinch of flour to make a slurry and add to the stew. Heat until it bubbles and pour the mixture in a casserole dish. Spread on the mash and bake to warm through♥.

This dish is naturally sweet from the cinnamon and tarragon. It’s also very appealing to the eye with vibrant vegetables and bright sweet potatoes. It’s not your average shepherd’s pie.

A square meal.

♣ To make rosemary oil, just let fresh rosemary sit in a jar of oil for a week.

♥ To go above and beyond, pipe the mash on and broil the top, so it is slightly browned.

Read Full Post »

We call this a Shepherd’s pie even though it is technically a cottage pie. We had beautiful carrots, zucchini, and squash that were home-grown. I chopped them into chunky pieces to make a real peasant stew. My father brought fresh Rosemary and Thyme. Rosemary is a strong herb and works well in stronger sauces like tomato sauce. This is also why I used a red wine instead of a white. It was hard to time all the vegetables, but they all came out tender, yet with a bite. I love the flavor and aroma that fresh herbs add to the dish. The red wine and crushed tomatoes make a low-fat  sauce that tastes like it took forever to make. Hearty, Homey, Heavenly.

Ingredients: (I left my pieces on the bigger side)

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped whites onions
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups chopped squash
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • about 5 potatoes
  • 2 lb. Ground beef
  • cream
  • Red Wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 ears of corn
  • 1 stick of butter
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder.

(You will need to have boiled potatoes ready when necessary)

1. In a huge metal pot, sauté the chopped carrots for about 2-3 minutes in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder.

2. Add the zucchini and squash and re-season in the same manner. In the meantime, using a different metal pot, caramelize the chopped onions over high heat. Season as before. After about 4 minutes, add 1/2 the minced garlic and corn kernels. After a minute, add the onions to the other vegetables and cook until the carrots are beginning to become tender. I added snap peas, which I parboiled and added at this time.

3. Now that the onions are gone, cook the beef on high heat with some extra oil. Season likewise. Add some more minced garlic too. Remember: it will continue to cook with the vegetables.

3. Add about a cup of wine and reduce to a simmer for a few minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes (The tomatoes, not the can). Season to taste with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, fresh pepper, and thyme. Add Worcestershire sauce and 3-4 sprigs of rosemary. Simmer and add more wine if it cooks off. I used a gravy master for darker color. Remove the Rosemary sprigs. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish. I used a Cazuela which is a traditional spanish cooking vessel.

4. Mash the potatoes (some skin is fine) with cream (8-10 oz.), a stick of butter, salt and pepper. Spread over the filling. I topped mine with the Rosemary sprigs and some thyme for aroma. Keep it warm in the oven until service.

Read Full Post »