Shepherd's Pie is as Aussie and Irish as you can get. Whenever I eat this dish, I'm mentally transported to an old Irish Pub in Adelaide. Like most things that we eat here at Aussie Cottage, I schedule this dish when our potato patch is ready for harvesting.
Quick garden tip for harvesting your potato scraps: If you have a bag of potatoes that have eyes growing or they've turned green, do not eat them. They are poisonous at that stage. instead, cut it up so each piece has an 'eye' attached and let it dry for a day or two. then, simply stick it in a pot or in the ground and continually cover the stem that comes up with more soil. After the plant flowers and looks ugly, you are ready to harvest your potatoes. Your main plant will have 7-8 potatoes. Feel free to keep the little ones in the ground to repopulate your potato patch.
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Serves: 4-6
Mashed Potato Ingredients: 2 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed 4-5 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed Water, to cover Pinch salt ½ c. chicken stock ¼ c. pouring cream 3 T. unsalted butter Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Remaining Ingredients: 1½ lbs. ground lamb 2 t. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped 2 T. Worcestershire sauce Sea salt and black pepper, to taste ¾ c. frozen corn kernels, thawed ¾ c. frozen peas, thawed 1¼ c. sliced frozen carrots, thawed
For garnish: Smoked paprika Fresh chives, chopped
1. Place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 200C (400°F).
2. Place potatoes and garlic in a large pot and add water until the potatoes are completely covered, with an additional inch or two on top. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
3. While the potatoes are boiling, add the lamb, rosemary, and Worcestershire sauce to a frying pan set over medium heat. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the lamb is completely browned and broken into small pieces, approximately 8-10 minutes.
4. Remove pan from heat and carefully drain any excess fat into a jar, if necessary. Set aside.
5. Add chicken stock, heavy cream, and butter to the boiled potatoes. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and mash with a hand masher or whip with a hand mixer until smooth. If necessary, add a little extra chicken stock to reach the desired consistency. Set aside.
6. Evenly spread the thawed corn, peas, and carrots across the browned ground beef in the cast iron skillet. Top with an even layer of the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with some smoked paprika.
7. Place the skillet in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through and the potatoes are nicely browned on top. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve immediately garnished with fresh chives. Enjoy!