Tips for shepherds pie
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Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.
Just made this last night -- make sure to discard some of the fat that's rendered from browning the lamb (otherwise the base will be greasy). You'll need a little flour for thickening the mixture, and some good, dark stock (beef or veal). I always add a glug of wine to the meat and veggies to give them some more flavor, as well as a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Kristen is the Creative Director of Food52
Pre-cook and taste everything -- your mashed potatoes and your stew/meat mixture -- before assembling them in the casserole. If they taste great on their own, they'll be even better together!
A little cheese or roasted garlic added to the mashed potatoes for the topping will really dress it up. The best cheeses to use for this: cheddar, Gorgonzola, and Gruyère. Dust a bit of Parmesan over the top after it's baked and broil it for about 30 seconds; that will give you a beautiful golden crispy cheese top for the mashed potatoes.
Add roasted beets into your filling for extra color and veggies. These go best if you're filling the shepherd's pie with a sausage mixture. When I use this combination, I add the Gorgonzola to the potatoes. It turns out beautiful, with great flavor and presentation.
I recently made this Scottish Beef & Potato Pie: http://www.cooking.com...
It's a great change from the traditional as it has a scalloped potato topping. I doubled the recipe using 1/2 ground beef 1/2 ground turkey. Omitted the egg. And, ended up pouring the cheese sauce over the potatoes rather than putting it on top of the meat. It was great!
Like overnight, but easier.
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