If it’s called shepherd’s pie, and shepherds tend sheep, why does it seem as though this classic dish is always made with ground beef instead of ground lamb?
That’s what I asked myself a decade ago, and so came up with what I think would be a more ‘authentic to its namesake’ recipe!
Start with about a tablespoon of reserved bacon grease. Oooooo! What better way to start?!
Put this into a medium skillet at medium-high heat.
Add a tablespoon of butter…keeps getting butter, I mean, better…
You’ll need about a pound of fresh ground lamb, and half of a medium onion, chopped.
Put these in the hot pan…
with a generous teaspoon of oregano…
a generous pinch of salt…
and a generous pinch of pepper.
Sauté until lamb is cooked through, about 8 minutes or so. Set aside.
I used 6 medium-sized white potatoes (from Maine! Go New England! Sorry…got side-tracked for a minute…).
Peeled and chopped them, uniformly…
Then put them in a pot, added enough water to cover them by 1 inch and brought them to a boil. I then turned the heat down to low, covered the pot and let them simmer for 11 minutes.
Here comes the good stuff…the butter and the half and half or the whole milk…
I use a stick of butter for every 3 lbs of potatoes I intend to mash. Therefore, since I have about 1 1/2 lbs going here, I’ve used 1/2 stick. And about 1/4 cup of whole milk. Add just a little bit of milk at a time and mash and finger test (eat a bit!) before adding more. Probably won’t need all of it, since the last thing you want to end up with is soupy mashed potatoes!
Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Return the pot to the warm burner. Mash. Keep mashing till they are the consistency you desire. Stir in the good stuff; i.e. the butter, half and half, salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt and pepper, potatoes can handle it!
Time to assemble!
Layer the can of whole sweet kernel corn (about 14 ounces) on the bottom of a pie dish. Salt and pepper it. Top with glorious layer of seasoned, cooked lamb. And the grand finale of toppings….the mouth-watering mashed potatoes. Look at those layers! What art!
Cook in a 350 degree oven for one hour, till potatoes starting to brown.
Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!