F*ck It, It's Comfort Food RECIPE HUB TIME.
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Shepherd's pie can be done in a few different ways. The Irish use ground lamb, whereas the British use ground beef and call it Cottage Pie. I prefer lamb, because the Irish have it right (obviously), but because lamb is such a rich and heavy meat, I use a mixture of the two. For the record, I've done this many times without incident, so there's no need to worry about it exploding in your oven.
One final note: Obviously, making mashed potatoes from scratch is likely to taste a little better and be more to one's liking, since it's fresh and you can use whatever potatoes you want (Idaho, Red, Yukon Gold, etc.), but there is nothing wrong with saving a lot of time and energy and using a giganto pouch of Idaho instant potatoes instead. That's what I do most of the time, and my family still descends upon it like a pack of Klingon targs. Clearly it isn't THAT big of a difference.
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered. [I like Yukon Golds the best]
- 1 to 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (4 tablespoons for the veggies, 4-8 tablespoons for the mashed potatoes according to taste)
- 1 1/2 cup of sweet onion, chopped
- 1-2 cups vegetables—diced carrots, corn, peas, mushrooms are good, too
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1/2 cup beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
- 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (bonus points for using stuuuupidly expensive Irish cheddar!)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt, pepper, rubbed sage
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray an 8 or 9X11 baking dish with cooking spray.
2) Put your potatoes in a medium sized cooking pot in some lightly salted water. Bring to a medium boil, then cover them until tender, about 20 minutes or so.
3) When the potatoes go into the pot, melt 4 tablespoons of your butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Once melted, add the carrots and chopped onion and sauté for about ten minutes.
4) Add in the ground meat, season with the salt, pepper, and rubbed sage, and cook until no longer pink. If you're using frozen peas and/or corn, add those in when the meat is done.
5) Next, add the broth and Worcestershire sauce, bring it to a simmer, then cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
6) While the simmering is going on, add the remaining butter to the potatoes and mash them. Despite there being a cooking tool literally called a "potato masher," I prefer to use a ricer for smoother mashed potatoes.
7) Spread your meat mixture in an even layer in the baking dish. (Fun Fact: Meat Mixture was the name of my first studio album. It was ... not well received.)
8) Spread the mashed potatoes into as even a layer as possible on top; those with OCD tendencies like myself may find this one of the most difficult parts. Also, make sure to spread the potatoes to all sides of the dish, in order to seal in the bottom layer of meat and veggies.
9) Bake for 10 minutes, then add the shredded cheese and bake for another 20 minutes. After that, you can stick it under the broiler for a couple minutes if the cheese isn't browned enough for you.
10) Serve with a proper stout or porter and enjoy!
Adam McMorgann is some guy on Twitter. YOU can send us recipes too, at rebecca at wonkette dot com.