Farmhouse Shepherd’s Pie with Fall Vegetables is an easy, rustic skillet meal that celebrates the best of the season.
I’m popping in quickly today with a recipe that I hadn’t intended to blog about — it was our dinner the other night and it was so good I thought I’d share. Luckily I took a few pics out of habit. This is a hearty lamb shepherd’s pie with the surprise of Brussels sprouts, parsnips, and turnips in the mix. I cook it all my cast iron skillet and top it off with mashed potatoes enriched with some good Irish cheddar. It doesn’t get any warmer or cozier, and the flavor of the heartier fall veggies is a nice change from carrots and peas.
The process has a few stages, but all simple. I brown the meat and set it aside on a plate. I add the veggies and saute them for a few minutes, then give the pan a hit of stock and cover it so they can get a chance to tenderize. Then I remove them to the plate with the lamb. Next I make the gravy in the same pan. Some butter and flour, a little seasonings and extra flavor enhancers, and the rest of the beef stock. It thickens as it comes to a simmer, and then everything goes back in the pan.
Because there are a few stages to this dish, I take the shortcut and make instant mashed potatoes. I enrich them with shredded cheddar cheese and then pipe them onto the stew. Since everything is hot it doesn’t take much more than 30 minutes to finish in the oven. This makes great leftovers, too, so it’s well worth the effort.
- 1 pound good quality ground lamb
- olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
- 1 turnip, peeled and diced
- 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 15 oz can Swanson's beef broth
- 1 bouillon cube of your choice, I used a mushroom stock cube, dissolved in a tiny bit of boiling water
- instant mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup grated Irish cheddar cheese
- Set oven to 350F
- Lightly coat the bottom of a 10" skillet with olive oil, I used my cast iron skillet. Brown the lamb, breaking it apart as it cooks. Remove it to a plate.
- In the same pan saute the onion for a few minutes, and then add the parsnip, turnip and sprouts. Saute for a few minutes, then add a splash of broth, and cover to let them steam until just barely tender. Remove them to the plate with the meat.
- Make the gravy in the same skillet...melt the butter and add the flour, stir to combine and cook for a few minutes, just until it starts to turn light brown. Add the broth and the bouillon and stir until the gravy thickens. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Add the meat and veggies back into the pan and blend. Cover loosely with foil and set in the oven while you make the mashed potato topping.
- Make 6 servings of the mashed potatoes according to the directions. Add the cheese when you add the dried potatoes to the liquid.
- Spread or pipe the potatoes onto the top of the skillet. Put back in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until everything is hot and bubbly and the potatoes have started to brown. You can put the skillet under the broiler for more color if you like. I like to set the skillet on a baking sheet to catch any possible drips.
- If you don’t see ground lamb in the meat case, ask the butcher, mine ground some up fresh for me. In a pinch you can use ground beef.
- If you like you can add some fresh herbs into the mixture before topping it with the potatoes. Parsley, thyme, or sage would be good choices.
The tide has finally turned here in California and it’s downright nippy — stay cozy!!