Fabulous Shepherd's Pie

Submitted by: Lindsey Scurrah-Ramsdell
This has got to be the best Shepherds Pie I have ever made.

Ingredients

2 tbsp Olive Oil
Sea Salt (grey kind) and freshly ground Black Pepper (to taste)
1 lb to 1.5 lbs lean ground Lamb or Bison (you can use beef if you like)
1 large Onion, finely minced
1 large Carrot, finely grated
1 Stalk Celery, finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp Tomato Paste (I use the squeeze tube so I don't waste an entire can of paste)
Handful of Fresh Thyme sprigs, leaves picked (I use Lemon Thyme)
1 sprig of Fresh Rosemary, needles chopped (Very Important to use Fresh, dried does not cook down at all)
1 Cup Red Wine (Carmenere or Chianti work nicely)
1 1/4 Cup Chicken Stock
2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I use leftover mashed red skin potatoes quite often)
3 Tbsp Butter or margarine
2 Egg Yolks
Fresh Grated Parmesan
Olive oil
Sea salt (again the grey kind) & freshly ground Black Pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F

2. Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Season the ground meat and fry in the oil over moderate to high heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir the onions, carrot, and celery into the meat then add the garlic in as well. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the red wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened.

3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain then return to the hot pan over low heat to dry out briefly. Pass them through a potato ricer (or mash with a regular potato masher) then beat in the egg yolks, followed by about 4 tbsp grated Parmesan. Check for seasoning

4. Spoon the meat into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, layer the mashed potato generously on top of the mince, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle. Grate some extra Parmesan over and season. Fluff up the mash potato with a fork to make rough peaks. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.


Tip:
- You can make several little personal pies in foil pot pie tins and freeze them once assembled or you can assemble two or three larger ones and bake one right away and freeze the rest. The little personal size ones bake from frozen at 375 for about 30 to 45 minutes.

- I double the amount of meat and measure everything to taste so that I can get a larger batch for freezing. If you aren't comfortable doing that yet, just follow the recipe and it will be delicious :)

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