Shepherd’s Pie (Ignore the old pan. I mean, they’re good for preventing cooking spills, right!?!)

What do you do when it’s chilly out and you want something other than soup? My solution was to make a shepherd’s pie. This would be great with a general red table wine, although we enjoyed it with Sierra Nevada Crystal Wheat beer.

The recipe was pretty easy once I got started. I adapted the recipe that is in Cooks Illustrated Comfort Food Favorites (I love their magazine!) Here’s my adaptation, if you’d like to make yourself one of these great dishes.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 lbs organic lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 8 scallions
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 package baby bella mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. port
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/4 cups beef broth
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Here’s how to put it together:

  1. Mix the beef with the baking soda, 2 tablespoons of water, 1 1/2 tsp of salt, and pepper to taste. Mix and set aside until you’re ready for it.
  2. Cut potatoes into cubes, add them and 1 tbsp. salt to a saucepan. Cover with water. Boil until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes and return to pan. Mash.
  4. Mix milk and egg together until blended. Add with butter and scallions to the potatoes. Stir well and set aside.
  5. Add oil to 10″ skillet and heat. Add onions and mushrooms until vegetables are soft.
  6. Add tomato paste and garlic, stir until bottom of pan is dark brown. Add port and deglaze the pan.
  7. Stir in flour, let cook for one minute.
  8. Add broth, carrots, Pickapeppa, thyme, and bay leaf, bring to boil and scrape any browned bits.
  9. Reduce heat to medium low and add ground beef. Cover and cook 6 minutes, stir and break apart beef, cover and cook for 6 more minutes.
  10. Mix cornstarch with 2 tsp of water. Add to filling and simmer for 30 seconds. Remove bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Smooth potatoes over the filling. It may be easiest to place potatoes in a plastic bag and cut off the corner, then pipe potatoes onto the filling.  Use a fork to create ridges over the surface.
  12. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and broil 5 inches from the broiler for 10 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown.
  13. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

There you have it! What is your favorite wine to pair with shepherd’s pie?




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