Shepherd’s Pie: The Ancestral Table
When I received my copy of The Ancestral Table from my friend Russ Crandall, the beautiful photography and rich, hearty meals really enticed me. Shepherd’s Pie has always been a favorite dish of mine, so this recipe was definitely something I was thinking my whole family would love to try. Russ generously let me post his recipe on my site to share with my readers. If you are trying to eat a real food diet, this book is a great resource. The Shepherd’s Pie was seasoned well, the potatoes were fluffy and made a nice crunch when browned. I usually use lamb when making it, but tried it with beef this time and really loved the results. It’s a warm, home-style comfort dish that I’m sure you’ll love!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
2lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 TBS butter, divided
~ 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
2 TBS black pepper, divided
1 1/2 lbs ground beef, ground lamb, or a mixture
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery root, peeped and diced
1 TBS tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small handful fresh thyme, minced
1 small handful fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1. Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes by 1″. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, then return to the pot and add 2Tbsp. of the butter. Mash until smooth and firm, adding cream as needed, up to 1/2 cup. Season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp. each), then set aside.
2. In a cast-iron skillet, brown the ground meat on medium heat until most of the pink is cooked out, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside the rendered fat to the pan, as well as the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, and warm it on medium heat until melted. Add the onion, carrot, and celery root and saute until softened, about 8 minutes.
3. Add the tomato past and garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and more salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper). Simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the ground meat and frozen peas.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spread the meat mixture evenly in the skillet, then top the meat mixture with globs of mashed potatoes. Spread with a spatula or fork. Bake until the potatoes are browned, about 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
The leftovers made for a pretty lunch the next day.