Thursday, December 23, 2010

Traditional Scottish Shepard's Pie!

Cooking for FriendsGordon Ramsay's World Kitchen: Recipes from The F-Word
I have been a foodie for sometime now.  I didn't always realize it but it was always there.  I can often be found watching various cooking shows.  In the kitchen trying something new.  Trying a new restaurant.  I have always had this attraction to food, and have always worked with it.  Strange it would turn into a hobby.  Talk about taking your work home with you.

My addiction to cooking shows lead me to discover my favorite chef and recipe. Gordon Ramsay, and his "Shepherds Pie ".  I can't blame you if you don't like him.  Most Americans automatically associate him with his show "Hell's Kitchen".  But he is much more than the screaming maniac we have come to know him as.  Just google his name with the tag, TV, and a whole list of shows pop up most of which you see the real Ramsay.  I was watching the "BBC America's", "F Word", another one of Ramsay's shows.  His featured dish for the evening was his family's recipe for Shepherd's Pie.  Being from Scotland, the pie was made of ground lamb.

Americans don't eat lamb for the most part.  I always wondered why.  I love it, but if not cooked properly it can be very foul tasting.  Come to find out lamb was once popular in America.  That was before WWII after which it started to appere in buffet lines and fell pray to careless cooks.  Lamb is initially a very delicate meat, much like a prime rib.  And as they both cook longer they become much more though.  Lamb however starts to develop a funky taste as well as getting more tough.  And as the larger cattle began to become more economically profitable, lamb became more scarce and expensive.
Countries like Brittan and Scotland still use lamb as a staple in their diets, and tons of great recipes for it.  Like the one I will share with you now!  Remember we are not baking here so substitutions are OK!  And taste! taste! taste! as your cooking.

The mash:

1 1/2 pounds of your favorite potatoes
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons of butter
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 egg yokes
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese now and another 1/3 or so for the final topping (2/3 cup total)

Start a pot of water on stove to boil potatoes. Peel potatoes, or not.  When potatoes are done mash with the listed ingredients.  You can start the filling while potatoes are boiling and it will all be done at nearly the same time.  Keep your mash warm if filling is still cooking.

Here's what you'll need for the meat filling:

2teasp olive oil
1 1/2 pounds of ground Lamb or Beef (I used Lamb)
1 large carrot  (grated)
1 large onion (grated)
rosemary (fresh is awesome if you have it)
thyme (again fresh is the way to go)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
red wine to taste (I use Riunite Lambrusco for a sweeter flavor)
1/4 cup chicken stock
Worcestershire sauce to taste
1 small can tomato puree

Pour olive oil into a large preheated pan.  Add lamb, or beef.  If your using lamb you'll need to stir vigorously for several minutes.  Lamb dose not break apart nearly as easily as beef.  Add your rosemary, thyme, and garlic and continue to stir.  After a minute or so add your carrot and onion.  Stir and cook some more and add Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, and wine and let sweat for a minute or so. Add chicken stock and let simmer. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
When your filling and mash are done you can spoon filling into a deep casserole dish.  Top with your mash, if you like you can poke the mash with a fork and make little peaks on your pie.  Top with remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 18-25 minutes. Or until top is golden brown.

I made this for our employee Christmas party and it was a big hit!  I was scared at first because no one was touching it.  When I went back for desert to my surprise it was gone, dish scraped clean.  It's a good feeling to feed friends and turn them onto something new.  Those that did not already know it was lamb where shocked and pleased.  I always have fun making this dish and even more fun devouring it!

 Love Food, Live Life!


  1. This looks delish! I bet it was a big hit =)

    I actually grew up on lamb, which is really weird... b/c we never ate anything out of the ordinary (It took years to get me to branch out and try new foods!) but anywho - loved lamb! back when I was eating meat!

    oooh! and my friend met gordon!!! she says he is SUPER nice. go figure =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. I came to know Gordon through Hell's Kitchen but I have to say, his maniacal antics kind of endeared me to him. Weird, I know.

    I love love love lamb! This shepherd's pie looks delicious!

  3. Happy to hear more people than I thought eat Lamb! And on his other shows Gordon is much more polite. On my wish list of people to meet for sure! Thanx Ladies,
    Love Food, Live Life!

  4. I was wondering if goat and lamb taste the same? Well regardless, I used to be a baker back then but now I work from home selling import export goods online. I have always wanted to make a meat pie, so this will be my first.