Shepherds Pie

 

Apparently the temperature is now plummeting lower in Ottawa than on Mars. I suppose we are now in, what some would call, the dead-of-winter;that time of year when nothing but warm, calorie dense food and seed catalogues are the only thing we have to make it through.

 

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of shepherd’s pie. Never has there been an instance in my entire life, when I was considering what I wanted to eat and shepherd’s pie came to mind; there’s just something so wrong about all those tiny, previously frozen, vegetables lurking underneath a bed of irresistibly smooth mash – like raisins hiding in a butter tart, yuck! But, I was invited over to a friend’s house for dinner recently and she made a shepherd’s pie that made me reconsider my entire stance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not completely on board the shepherd’s pie train, this recipe did produce a really delicious meal, I dare say I would make it again.

 

Saucy Shiraz Shepherd’s Pie

 

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces

1 small cauliflower, cut into florets, about 1 1/2 cups

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp 18% cream

1 tbsp grainy mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

500 g lean ground beef, or lamb

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 carrot, diced small

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1/3 cup shiraz

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup no-salt beef broth

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup grated parmesan, optional

 

Cover potatoes and cauliflower with cold water in a large pot and set over high. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium. Gently boil until tender, 10 to 12 min. Drain. Melt butter with cream, mustard, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper in same pot over low. Return vegetables to pot and coarsely mash. Set aside.

 

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Crumble in beef, cook until no pink remains, 2 to 3 min. Add onion, garlic, carrot, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook until onion softens, 3 to 4 min.

 

Add wine, cook for 2 min. Sprinkle flour over meat mixture and stir. Add broth, tomato paste, rosemary and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 min. Divide among ramekins. Spoon potato mixture on top. Sprinkle with parmesan.

 

Position a rack in upper third of oven. Preheat broiler. Set ramekins on a baking sheet and broil until golden.

 

 

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