Shepherds Pie

This is one of the dishes I missed when I moved to (continental) Europe. So I learned to make it myself.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients
0.6 kg roasting potatoes chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 carrots medium sized, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onions medium, diced
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 cups liquid beef stock
0.4 kg beef mince
3 tsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp butter
nutmeg
Instructions

Chop potatoes into rough 1-inch cubes for boiling. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, add the potatoes to the water and return the water to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium to keep the water at a simmer. Cook the potatoes until fully tender, about fifteen minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the vegetables. Dice the carrot, celery, and onion and place in a bowl. Assemble the rest of the ingredients: flour, rosemary, thyme, beef stock/broth, and beef mince. Once the potatoes are tender, remove them from the water into a large bowl, reserving about ½ cup of the water. Mash the potatoes with 1Tbsp butter and the ½ cup of reserved water. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrot, and celery and stir until the vegetables are coated. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about fifteen minutes. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 200°C. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground meat. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat apart while cooking. Cook the meat while stirring until it is no longer pink - about five minutes. Tilt the pot and allow the excess fat to run to one corner. Spoon off the excess fat. Add the flour to the mixture. Mix and cook for a couple minutes while stirring (the flour helps thicken up the gravy). Cook it for a couple minutes to remove the taste of raw flour. Add the beef stock, thyme, rosemary, and nutmeg. Cook while stirring until the liquid has thickened, about 5 minutes. While the gravy thickens, add salt and ground black pepper to taste. Pour the meat mixture into a casserole or baking pan. Cover meat mixture with the mashed potatoes and fluff the top of the potatoes with a fork. This will allow the bits of potato sticking up to brown and form a crispy crust. Cut 2 Tbsp of butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the potatoes. Cover with a healthy amount of paprika. Cheese works here too. Place into the center of the oven. After thirty minutes, the potatoes should have formed the golden brown crust. Remove from the oven and allow to rest ten minutes before serving.

by Marco Dörfliger, last updated on April 30, 2018.