March. If it’s come in like a lion, you may want to try out some lamb in this Shepherd’s Pie. I plucked this recipe from my giant binder of recipes that houses all of my magazine clippings, and I giggled a bit when I saw it came from Men’s Journal. Where on earth did I pick up a Men’s Journal? Or better yet, why?
Regardless, I’m glad I had it because the recipe resulted in a delicious Shepherd’s Pie. I’d never cooked with parsnips or turnips before, and unless it’s a potato or the occasional carrot, I’m generally not thrilled with root vegetables (beets have been my least favorite food since infancy). I happily found all of the vegetables in this dish pleased my taste buds, and overall the Shepherd’s Pie had a sweet yet tangy flavor I fancied.
I got my second laugh when I read the “three beers that will perfect your meal” portion of the recipe. It started, “The knee-jerk choice is Guinness…” I used Guinness because a) I like it, and b) my local grocery store ran a promotion on it last week. Men’s Health may call it “knee-jerk”, but I call that a “win-win.”
I wanted to up the flavor by topping the Shepherd’s Pie with special mashed potatoes like my Grandma makes. I roughly halved her recipe that calls for cream cheese and sour cream to be whipped into the potatoes, and I included it in the notes below. I opted not to peel my potatoes before boiling and mashing, but of course, that option is yours.
The Shepherd’s Pie I cooked up was very juicy. You may want to place the cast iron skillet on a baking sheet to avoid drips of grease falling from the skillet, causing a small oven fire, and leading to shouts of, “ there’s a fire in the oven, there’s a fire in the oven .” (Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience here.) If you do not own a cast iron skillet, not to worry, you can always cook the Shepherd’s Pie mixture in a regular skillet and transfer it to an oven-safe dish for baking. Enjoy!
- 1 pound lamb
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 parnspis, chopped
- 1 turnip, chopped
- 1 cup peas
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup beer
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Brown the lamb in a cast iron skillet coated with olive oil over medium heat.
- When the lamb is fully cookied, remove the meat from the skillet and add the chopped onion, carrots, parsnips, and turnip.
- Cook the vegetables until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the lamb back to the skillet, and stir in the peas, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and beer.
- Cook until the mixture is reduced by half, then add the chicken broth.
- Top with mashed potatoes and bake at 375 degrees F until golden, about 20 minutes.