I never liked shepherd’s pie growing up. But Bart kept mentioning how much he liked it and one time, in a fit of insanity, I decided to make it.
And then, to my shock, I liked it (peas are one of those things I don’t much care for, and yet, in this dish, I did not hate them). Now it’s one of the things I most look forward to making in the fall and winter. I know. I don’t recognize myself either.
(adapted from Everyday Food)
1 lb ground meat (I usually do ground beef, but last time I did a combo of beef and pork; lamb is the traditional choice)
1 onion, finely chopped
4-5 carrots, chopped
2 TB tomato paste
2 Tb flour
2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
10 ounces frozen peas
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
(about four good-sized potatoes)
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large skillet, cook meat, onion and carrots together, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and meat is cooked through, 5-8 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, stirring to combine, then sprinkle the flour on top. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
Add Worcestershire sauce, water, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, until mixture is thickened.
Stir in peas; cook 1 minute longer. Pour into a good-size casserole dish (mine is about 6×11).
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook over medium-low heat until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.
Return potatoes to pan, add milk and butter, mash to combine and until potatoes are reasonably smooth. Season with salt and pepper, adding more if needed. Spread over the meat mixture; use a fork to make little peaks.
Bake on a baking sheet until the top is golden-brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm.