Shepherd’s pie – the English/Irish delicacy a little differently

I wanted to share my shepherd’s pie recipe for some time now, but somehow I always put it aside. Now though it has become quite topical because of my fast-approaching trip to England.

 

It’s an English / Irish hot-pot dish that’s really easy to prepare. It is traditionally made from minced lamb or beef and the main flavor to it is Worcestershire (or Worcester) sauce. Now, why is mine a little different? Well, because I have never made it specifically only from the above-mentioned meat (I hope my English friends won’t kill me for this) and I always add a bit of wine to it. But I always make sure that I make enough of this delicious food because it disappears very quickly 🙂

 

Ingredients for a large bowl:

 

The ragout:

  • 80 dkg of minced meat (I used half-half pork and beef)
  • 1 bigger red onion
  • 2 bigger carrots
  • 1/2-1/2 cups of greenpeas and corn (I used frozen as I didn’t have anything else at home)
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 dl red wine
  • 1,5 dl broth (can be made from instant cube)
  • 1 tps dried thyme (if we have fresh, of course we use it)
  • 2 tps oil
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Potato puree:

  • 1 kg of potato
  • 125 g butter
  • 100 g grated cheese (something more tasty, like parmesan, grana padano, cheddar, etc.)
  • Salt to taste

 

Preparation:

In a high-walled pan heat up the oil and drop the chopped onion into it to stir. Add the minced meat and cook it until its juice boils out of it. Then season it with salt and white pepper (the taste of white pepper is not as strong as black pepper’s). Add the broth, the red wine and cook for approx. 10 minutes. Then continue to season it with Worcesterchire sauce, tomato purĂ©e and dried thyme and add the sliced carrots cut to thin circles. Cook for another 20 minutes covered, and for the last 5 minutes pour the peas and corn into it.

Prepare the potato puree in parallel with the ragout. Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes, then cook them in salted water (check its consistency with a fork). Add the butter in pieces to the cooked potatoes and let them rest for a few minutes under cover, so the butter melts, and then the whole can be mashed and mixed smoothly. Stir into it the grated cheese and season the whole with salt. The mashed potato will be super delicious. Actually I could just eat it at this stage.  Many might be surprised that I do not use milk or cream, but we have always made the potato purée with butter only. This is how I learned it from my mom who saw this simple version from her own mother and grandma. We totally love its full butteriness!

After the ragout and the purée is ready, take a large casserole glassware or any other baking dish with a lid (I love my glazed ceramic roman bakeware for preparing hot-pot dishes), pour the ragout in it and add the cheesy-buttery mashed potatoes on top. Bake in a 200 degrees preheated oven for 15 minutes, then fry the top a little for another 5 minutes (I usually switch on the air-circulation program). Serve this delicacy while hot!

 

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