3 pounds ground lamb
2 medium onions, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup red wine
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 (1-pound) bag frozen pea and carrot medley, do not thaw
Ground black pepper
3 pounds russet potatoes, sliced 3/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups half and half, warmed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1. Cook the lamb in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink and the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Drain the lamb through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the drippings.
2. Return 2 tablespoons of the reserved lamb drippings to the pot and heat over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and wine, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the drained lamb, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and rosemary and cook until the mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the peas and carrots and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture into a 13 by 9 inch casserole dish; set aside.
3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot and cover by 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot set over low heat, and mash to a smooth consistency. Stir in the cream, followed by the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. With a large spoon, dollop the mashed potatoes over the lamb filling. Using a rubber spatula, smooth the potatoes out into an even layer and push to the edges of the baking dish.
5. TO STORE Wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray and then foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, the casserole must be thawed completely in the refrigerator, about 24 hours, before baking.)
6. TO SERVE Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400*F. Unwrap the dish and place the casserole on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the top is browned, about 1 hour.
Note: To serve right away bake as directed in step 6, reducing the baking time to 35 minutes.
This recipe is from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe which seems to have become my go to book for planning Game Day meals. Art was concerned since his experience with shepherd’s pies is that they’re bland. This recipe was anything but! It was rich and flavorful!
I did, however, forget to add the peas and carrots. I realized this when I went to serve it. Eek. It was delicious without them. However, I’m uncertain how it would have fit into the pan with any more ingredients. Without the peas and carrots, the baking pan was stuffed to the brim and oozed during baking! So keep an eye on the pan you’re using when you fill it up.