Sunday, September 03, 2017

Gordon Ramsay: Shepherd's Pie

I remember back when I was in high school going to a restaurant near me called Tippin's.  Yes, it was mostly a pie restaurant, but what I remembered the most was the luscious shepherd's pie that I would get.  I seriously never tried anything else.  Well, I happened to come across some frozen Tippin's pies at my local Tom Thumb grocery store, and it made me nostalgic, so I figured I would try to make my own shepherd's pie.  I seriously love this.  It's like a giant food hug.

Note: No Branston Pickle here.  Still delicious.  I used lamb stock instead of chicken stock since I had it.  Seemed like a good idea.  The original recipe calls for extra-large egg yolks.  I'm not buying a dozen eggs to get two yolks.  The large egg yolks seemed to work just fine.

Shepherd's Pie
Adapted from Cooking for Friends by Gordon Ramsay

1 pound lean ground lamb
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 large carrot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1½ cups chicken stock
1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Leaves from a handful of fresh thyme sprigs
Leaves from a sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
2½ tablespoons minced Branston Pickle (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1¼ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons hot whole milk
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 large egg yolks

Put a wide, cast-iron or other heavy-based pan over medium to high heat.  Season the ground lamb with salt and pepper and fry in a thin layer of oil until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. (Fry the meat in two batches if necessary.)  Transfer the lamb to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

Add a little more olive oil to the pan and stir in the onion, carrot, and garlic.  Fry, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the flour and tomato paste and stir for a couple of minutes longer.  Pour in the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge the browned sediment.  Let the wine boil until it has almost all evaporated and the pan is quite dry.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Return the lamb to the pan and add the Worcestershire sauce and herbs.  Turn the heat to the lowest setting and partially cover the pan.  Simmer, stirring every once in a while, until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened, 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender when pierced with a small knife, 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain well, then return to the hot pan over low heat to dry out briefly.  Press the potatoes through a potato ricer into a large bowl.  Mix in the butter, hot milk, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan.  Season well to taste, then beat in the egg yolks and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Fold the minced Branston Pickle through the lamb mixture, then pour into an 8-cup baking dish.  Spoon the mashed potato generously on top of the lamb filling, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle.  Fluff up the mashed potato with a fork to make rough peaks.  Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and grind a little black pepper over the top.  Bake until the top is golden brown and filing is bubbling up around the sides, 20 to 25 minutes.  Serve with extra Branston Pickle, if you wish.

Makes 4 servings

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