This is a seriously flavorful dish! Traditionally made with ground lamb, Mary kicked up the flavor on her family’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe yesterday evening by replacing the ground lamb with fresh ground sirloin. The resulting dish was so tender I had difficulty getting it out of the bowl in one piece so I could shoot a photo! Moist and rich, this was a perfect comfort food for the icy, snowy evening Michigan experienced yesterday.
Sirloin Shepherd’s Pie
1-1/2 lb ground sirloin
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup coarsely-chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried whole basil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp dried whole oregano
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 14-1/2 oz can whole tomatoes, undrained and unchopped
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cold water
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
4-1/2 cups baking potatoes, peeled & cubed (about 2 lb)
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 tsp Kosher salt
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown the ground sirloin, stirring often to ensure the meat crumbles. Drain the meat onto some paper towel and set aside. Wipe the drippings from the skillet, add a couple tablespoons olive oil and reheat over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion and garlic, then sauté until vegetables are tender but still crisp.
Add the browned sirloin to the skillet, along with the Worcestershire sauce, basil, 1/2 tsp salt, oregano, ground pepper, tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
While the mixture is simmering, place the cubed potatoes in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and then drain them. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, milk, Parmesan cheese, butter and 1/8 tsp salt. Beat with an electric mixture at medium speed for two minutes. Set aside.
When the meat mixture has simmered 30 minutes, remove it from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaf. Add the flour and water to a small bowl and whisk till smooth. Add this to the meat mixture, stirring in the peas as well.
Spray a 3-quart casserole or a large glass bowl with a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the meat mixture into the casserole dish or glass mixing bowl, spreading the meat mixture evenly and leveling the top with a spatula. Spoon the whipped potatoes directly on top of the meat mixture, also leveling the top of the whipped potatoes with a spatula. Sprinkle the top of the potatoes with a thin layer of shredded cheese. (Just about any kind of cheese will do but cheddar seems a favorite for this dish.) Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Let the dish stand at least 5 minutes so the cheese and potatoes can set up before using a spatula to serve.