How to make classic shepherd's pie

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Want to make a classic shepherd's pie? You had better start off with lamb or mutton, and not ground beef, as the beef variety is actually a different dish known as cottage pie. Shepherd's pie was created in the Northern England or Scotland (you'd be surprised how contentious this point can be!) and was actually invented to feed hungry shepherd's when they came in for the night. In the recipe that follows, it's got everything any hungry shepherd, or just someone that's worked all day, needs.
Tender meat is combined with vegetables and then poured into a casserole dish. On top, spoonfuls of mashed potatoes are dropped and then evened out into a thick layer of comfort before the whole thing gets baked up to perfection. This allows each element to be tasted bite after bite. And if you want to use beef instead of lamb, as most do in North America, no one here is going to judge.
Cooktop Cove
Classic Shepherd's Pie
10 minutes
45 minutes
55 minutes
2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and small dice
1 onion, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground lamb
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup half and half
3 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8" x 11" oval baking dish.
Place the potatoes into a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water by about two inches.
Bring potatoes to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a fork.
While the potatoes are cooking, start on the meat mixture. Heat olive oil over medium heat.
When oil is hot add carrots and onions and saute for about 3 minutes, just until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the garlic and the lamb and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink.
Add the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, and frozen corn. Stir, and set aside off the heat.
When potatoes are tender, drain and place back in the hot pot.
Add the half and half, butter, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Gently mash with a potato masher.
Pour the meat mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Spread potatoes evenly over the meat.
Place in the preheated oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are golden and the meat mixture is bubbling.
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This is an Italian-spiced recipe, using thyme, parsley and fennel seed to flavor the dish. You can also opt for a Mexican-themed version by replacing these Either way, this is easy and delicious!
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