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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Experiment #21: Deconstructed Shepherd's Pie

I was talking with one of my friend's the other day around St. Patrick's Day and we were noting that both of us had not ever made Shepherd's pie.  Since then I have been thinking about making it and decided that today was the day.

With some research around the web, I found Alton Brown's Shepherd's Pie recipe.  Although his recipe had ground lamb, I decided to make the dish with ground beef as it is more available.  I also decided that the large casserole was not exactly what I wanted to make so I decided to make the beef filling and mashed potatoes separately and then just serve it (not bake it.)

Since I was going to try to see if my little one would enjoy it, I left out the worchershire sauce and reduced the herbage (rosemary and thyme) a little bit.  Also, I wasn't to excited about corn in my shepherd's pie, so I just stuck to peas.

The results were delicious.  The beef filling was so flavorful that the potatoes did not need anything.

Deconstructed Shepherd's pie (aka No Bake Beef with Mashed Potatoes) adapted from Alton Brown's recipe on Food Network
1 1/2 pounds Gold Potatoes, peeled and 1/2 inch diced

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped Onion
2 Carrots, peeled and diced small
1 garlic clove
1 pound organic grass fed Ground beef
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
2 tablespoons all purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Tomato Paste
1 cup Chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly chopped Rosemary
1 teaspoon freshly chopped Thyme
1 cup frozen peas

Mashed Potatoes
Place peeled and diced potatoes in a medium saucepan over high heat, cover and bring to boil.  ONce boiling, uncover, decrease the heat and simmer until tender about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add milk, butter, and salt to taste.

Beef filling
Place olive oil into a 12 inch saute pan and set over medium heat.  When the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color approximately 3 to 4 minutes.  Add garlic and stir to combine.  

Add the beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.  Sprinkle meat with flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute.  Add tomato paste, chicken broth, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Add the frozen peas and cook until they are tender 2 to 3 minutes.  

The beef filling with mashed potatoes on the side:

I enjoyed this recipe, but the next time I would add more salt and cook the beef separately from the onions, carrots and garlic.  It added a bit too much fat to the dish.  I patted the beef down after it was browned to get some of the oil out of the dish.

Link to original recipe:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/shepherds-pie-recipe2/index.html

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