Recipe video above.
Shepherd’s Pie is one of those foods that brings a smile to everyone’s face – especially when you get seconds! While it's traditionally made with lamb, this is equally delicious made with beef (and makes it a Cottage Pie
!) Terrific make ahead! GF option in Note 4.
* Carrots and celery are used to make a truly great mirepoix / soffrritto flavour base for this pie. However, they can be omitted, but add 1 tsp of sugar instead.
1. Whatever the thickness of the sauce when you pour it into the dish, that's what it will be once baked - no steam escapes while baking to allow it to reduce any further. So keep cooking until it's the consistency you want - you don't want it too runny otherwise it's like lamb soup!
2. Cooling the filling ensures that the potato doesn't weep into the filling and makes it much easier to spread. If you are in a rush - as I often am - pop it in the freezer while you make the potato. That works pretty well.
3. Watery potatoes drops excess liquid into the filling which makes the sauce watery and can make the potatoes weep into the filling. So don't skip the step of steam drying the potatoes! Also, make sure the mash is hot when spreading onto the pie. Cold mash is hard and impossible to spread.
If I'm making this for company or am on a calorie-blow-out mission, I add a big handful of cheese into the potato (cheddar, tasty, gruyere, Monterey Jack). It doesn't need it, it's a bonus. 🙂
For the filling, sometimes I reduce the amount of lamb and add chopped veggies like zucchini and spinach (frozen thawed or fresh).
GLUTEN FREE OPTION:
Skip the flour. Use 2 tbsp of cornflour / cornstarch, mix with a splash of water. Stir into the sauce at step 4, it will thicken as it heats.
5. Make ahead instructions:
Fabulous for making ahead. Assemble pie but don't bake it. Once cool, then either refrigerate or freeze. Thaw if frozen (it will take way too long to bake from frozen) then bake as per recipe.
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6 servings.