I had planned on making some Shepherd’s Pie tonight, but since I got home early from my morning errands, I made it a bit earlier.
Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally lamb that is cooked in gravy or sauce with vegetables, and topped with mashed potatoes. Cottage pie is similar, but with beef as the main source of meat. There are variations of the meats and vegetables, but this is a nice hearty meal that is perfect for the Fall season.
My version has slight modifications, but the overall spirit of the meal still exists.
One ingredient that I use, but can be hard to find, is Ballymaloe Original Sauce.
I first discovered this sauce about 7 or 8 years ago. It works well on hamburgers, but is great with Shepherd’s Pies. This is a tomato relish and includes sultanas. I’m not usually a fan of raisins, but these work really well in this sauce/relish.
Start by preheating the oven to 400.
My first cooking step includes a big cheat. I used one pouch of instant mashed potatoes. Once those were hot and ready, it was on to the next.
I cooked up one pound of ground lamb. As soon as the meat is no longer pink, drain the fat. Reduce heat to medium. Add in one can of peas and carrots (14.5-15 ounces) with the liquid drained. I then added one 7.5 ounce jar of Ballymaloe to the mix. I put 1/2 cup of water into the jar and swirled it around to make sure I got all of the good bits of the relish, and then added them to the mixture.
Continue mixing for another 2 minutes, making sure the ingredients are mixed in. Grease an 8 inch round casserole dish and add the meat mixture.
Add the mashed potatoes (should be 2 cups) and gently press down to make an even layer.
Place in the 400 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy!
This was just one of my modifications. If you want to have more crisp to the mashed potatoes, you can put it under a broiler for about 5 minutes. You can add cheese on top of the mashed potatoes before cooking. You can add in other vegetables. Create your own unique version if you would like.
Making this was one thing, but it all comes down to the taste. I was really happy with how this turned out, in terms of flavor. The lamb wasn’t gamey. The sweetness of the tomato relish came out well and the mashed potatoes really brought everything together. It would have been interesting to have a different texture, so crisping the mashed potatoes a bit under the broiler might have done the trick, but it wasn’t necessary. I enjoyed making this today and was happy to share.