Quick Shepherd's Pie

Here’s our recipe for a "quick" Shepherd's Pie.  Pick up the veal stock here at the Studio.  By using good quality home-made stock you’re adding so many nutrients to this dish.  Sodium-packed ‘stock’s’ do not contain all the goodness you get from from-scratch stock.

At the end of the day we are working moms.  You can make a good quality, from-scratch meal from scratch, instead of picking it up at the frozen food aisle.  This way you know exactly what you are putting into your food, you know what you are feeding your family.

Start by cooking the potatoes, and while they are cooking the meat can be browned, seasoned and simmered.

The beauty of this dish as well, is that it takes you no longer to make two than to make one.  Stick one in the freezer to pull out for the babysitter or grandparents!

 

Begin by peeling:

9 Yukon Gold Potatoes, left whole 

kosher salt

 

Place in a pot and cover completely with COLD water.  Always start potatoes in cold water so that they cook evenly. Add enough salt so that your water tastes like the ocean.  This will ensure that you have a flavourful mashed potato at the end.

Turn your burner on high, bring them just up to a simmer, and then turn down to medium.  Make sure there is not a heavy boil or they will break apart.

 

Meanwhile, in a heavy, wide saute pan over medium-high heat brown

3lb good quality ground beef

 

Browning is key to success here. Season well with salt and pepper and stir constantly to break up the meat.  Once meat is cooked the juices will release, and then just leave your pan alone.  These juices and fat will assist to brown the meat while they evaporate.  Do not strain your meat.  This is FLAOUR and if you strain out any juices or fat your meat will be dry.

 

Once browned, add:

1 finely diced onion

Cook until soft while stirring, and then add:

2 cloves of garlic, minced 

Cook for a couple minutes before adding:

2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce 

1/4 cup ketchup

1 cup veal stock

 

Now allow this mixture to simmer over medium heat while you work on the potatoes.  Season this mixture to taste with salt and pepper. This mixture should slightly thicken as the stock reduces.

Drain your potatoes, and then, using a RICER, pass them into a clean pot.

 

Add:

1 1/2  cups WHOLE milk, warmed (the 3.8% milk really makes a difference here–if you add skim, you might as well add water). 

1/4 cup unsalted butter 

 

Mix this well and then add:

2 eggs, lightly beaten. This lightens your potato, gives it richness and slightly sets the potato topping to make for neat portions.

 

Now put the whole thing together.  In a your pie plate, ‘corning ware’, or 9×13 lasagna pan, pour in the meat mixture, and then scoop the potatoes on top.  Remember, this is enough for two ‘pans’ worth (so freeze one before heading to the next step). If you brush the potatoes with some melted butter the topping will get nice and crispy.

 

In your hot, pre-heated oven (425 degrees F) place the Shepard’s Pie and bake for about 15 minutes (the time it takes to steam or roast some broccoli).