Right now there’s a stew slow cooking in the oven, a baby sleeping in her swing and a moment to jot down a go-to comfort meal in our house: Shepherd’s Pie. It’s the dish made for families with a death, illness, or new baby because it’s hearty, delicious, easy to make and is a hit with kids too. Bonus: it’s peanut free.
1 3/4 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 c half-and-half
6 oz butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground lamb*
1 c onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 round tbs AP flour
2 tsp tomato paste
1 c chicken stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 c frozen peas, defrosted
*Moscovites can pick up Anderson Ranch Lamb at the Co-Op. It comes in 1 lb packages, so I often buy 3 and make two pies!
Preheat the oven to 400F
1) Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender (15 minutes).
2) Warm the half-and-half and butter in the microwave (half a minute).
3) Drain potatoes, return to the pan, add the half-and-half and butter and mash til smooth. Add the yolk and stir.
4) Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering add the onions and carrots and cook til the carrots begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for half a minute.
5) Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned (3-4 minutes). Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat, cooking for another minute while stirring.
6) Add the tomato paste, stock, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary and thyme and stir, bringing to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, leaving for 10 minutes. It will have thickened a bit.
7) Add the peas and spread into a deep 11x7”baking dish. Use a spoon to dollop and spread the mashed potatoes on top** working from the outside edge in.
8) Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes (the tops of the potatoes will be golden brown). Cool slightly before serving.
**I’ve always intended to be fancier with this and pipe the potatoes on, but never do. You could, though!
At the end of May we took a trip to Maryland to visit with family and generally tourist it up. We made an effort to have some culinary adventures, and I will break them down in coming posts by location. In the meantime, here is a truly awesome, hearty, recipe that is bound to make everyone you feed it to very happy. I hope my Dad isn’t reading, because I plan on tricking him into realizing the awesomeness of lamb with this recipe next time he visits! I served it with a minty chickpea salad.
Lamb Meatballs with Chickpeas
3/4 c piquillo peppers (roasted red peppers, jarred)
2.5-3 c chicken stock
3/4 c plain yogurt, plus a few tbs for serving
2 lbs lamb, ground
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 rounded tbs garlic, minced
1/4 c flat-leaf parsley, minced, plus a handful for garnish
1 tbs thyme leaves
2 tsp paprika
3 rounded c chickpeas (canned, drained)
4 tsp kosher salt
few glugs olive oil or veg oil
1) Puree the peppers in a food processor, then move to a bowl and whisk in the yogurt and broth.
2) Combine the lamb, eggs, garlic, parsley, thyme, paprika and salt. Mix, and divide into sixteen meatballs.
3) Heat your largest skillet and bring the oil to a simmer. Cook the meatballs on medium-high heat until browned.
4) Push the meatballs to the sides of the pan and add the red pepper mixture as well as the chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. If you like, mash a few of the chickpeas up for a creamier sauce.
5) Simmer for about ten minutes, season the sauce to taste, and transfer meatballs and their sauce to a platter. Top with parsley with yogurt on the side!