A Shepherd's Pie fits the bill for March with a nod to Ireland and a hearty combination of lamb, vegetables and potatoes. Photo by: Carrie Crowder/Katie Workman via AP
March 7, 2018 10:56:13 AM
The dead of winter is much more tolerable when you a make a mood-lifting dinner like this one.
And with St. Patrick's Day approaching, Irish dishes seem like the right thing to do. (I don't believe I have a drop of Irish blood in me, but that doesn't stop me from getting caught up in the spirit. I love to use different countries' holidays as an excuse to dive into their cuisine. Shake things up and try something new).
What's the difference between Shepherd's Pie and Cottage Pie? Shepherd's Pie contains lamb and is an Irish specialty. Cottage Pie is English and contains beef. Both have mashed potatoes on top, and occasionally on the bottom as well.
This version of Shepherd's Pie calls for ground lamb, readily available in most supermarkets. If you have a tight relationship with your butcher, ask him or her to grind it fresh -- why wouldn't you?
This pie was actually created as a way to use up leftover lamb, probably over a century ago. It's completely worth making even without leftover lamb, so let's proceed with our ground-meat version. But do think of this recipe any time you make a roast of lamb, whether it's a shoulder or leg or loin. Try hard to make sure there are leftovers, and then dice them finely and use them in this comfort-food pot pie.
45 minutes start to finish
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved (abut 1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped fennel
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Nutrition information per serving: 643 calories; 364 calories from fat; 41 g fat (16 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 105 mg cholesterol; 838 mg sodium; 39 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 31 g protein.