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Video:How to Make Shepherd's Pie

with John Mitzewich

Shepherd's pie is a hearty and delicious casserole of savory ground lamb and vegetables topped with a cheesy potato crust. This versatile British comfort-food classic can be made with any number of ground meats and vegetables.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Shepherd's Pie

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how to make shepherd's pie. It's one of my all-time favorite lamb dishes, and very easy to put together.

Prepare the Pie Potatoes

So we're going to get out potatoes ready for the crust. We're going to boil 2 1/2 lbs of potatoes in salted water until they are very tender. We're going to add: 3 tablespoons butter, salt to taste, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese. Mash that really smooth, and set aside.

Prep the Shepherd's Pie Lamb

We're going to take 2 pounds of ground lamb, and in a dry saute pan we're going to slowly brown that on medium heat. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, and also 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary. Keep cooking this for about 15 minutes. The water will come out and evaporate and it will eventually brown.

Once it's browned we're going to transfer to a bowl. If there is a lot of excess fat drain it. Mine was pretty lean lamb so I didn't. In the same pan on medium heat, in 2 tablespoon of butter we're going to saute 1 chopped onion for about 5 minutes.

Cook the Mushrooms

Then add 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. We're going to cook that until the mushrooms become golden-brown, like that. To that add 2 cloves of minced garlic and give that a 1-minute saute. Add your lamb back in along with 3 tablespoons of flour.

Shepherd's Pie Roux

We're going to make a really simple roux, which is just flour cooked in fat. So we have our butter and our little bit of fat from the lamb. Cook that for about 5 minutes and then add 2 1/2 cups of beef broth, which is going to thicken up as soon as it comes back to a simmer.

Simmer that for about 10 minutes - it's going to thicken up beautifully and reduce a little bit. The final step is 1 pound of diced vegetables. I'm using frozen peas and carrots, but you can use anything. This is a great dish to use leftover vegetables.

Assemble the Shepherd's Pie

Spoon that into a 4-quart casserole dish and then we're going to top it with the crust. Wonder why this is called a pie? Hey, shepherds are busy - they don't have time make piecrust, so they just used mashed potato instead - and it is delicious.

We're going to use the tip of a fork to spread the potatoes around. You want a nice irregular nooks and crannies, which will brown beautifully. We're going to top with another cup of grated cheddar cheese.

Bake the Shepherd's Pie

We're going to throw that in a 375 degrees F. oven for about 40 minutes, or until it looks like that - which is beautiful. So, that's shepherd's pie - if you decide to use beef, same recipe, its just called cottage pie, that's the only difference.

Either way this is incredibly delicious. I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!
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