Serves 4 - 6
What you need
Shepherds Pie is a dish that is served at pubs throughout England and Ireland. It is traditionally made with finely chopped or ground lamb topped with mashed potatoes. Ground or chopped beef is often substituted for the lamb.
In Bermuda, when the spice is kicked up and beef is used, along with that famous Sherry Peppers Sauce, the dish is referred to as "Cottage Pie".
At The Frog & Onion Pub, the Cottage Pie was made with seasoned minced beef and vegetables, and topped with mashed potatoes. The pie was perfectly seasoned and brought hot and steaming to the table, covered with such creamy mashed potatoes that were incredibly crispy on top. A feast for the senses. I will try to recreate that for you here:
The Mashed Potatoes:
About 5 Potatoes (I use Russets) Peeled and Cut Into Cubes
2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
1 Tablespoons Softened Cream Cheese
1 Tablespoon Butter
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Pound Ground Beef or Lamb
2 Carrots Peeled and Chopped
1 Onion Chopped
About 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Beef Broth
A Healthy Squirt Worcestershire Sauce
1 - 2 Tablespoons Outerbridge's Original Sherry Pepper Sauce
1 Tsp Freshly Chopped Thyme
Freshly Chopped Parsley Leaves
Bermuda Cottage Pie
In a large stock pot add potatoes and cold water (enough to cover potatoes with an inch to spare) along with a generous pinch of salt. Boil the potatoes unil fork tender, about 10-12 minutes after the water comes to a boil. Drain the potatoes, put them back in the hot pot, and add your sour cream, cream cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes vigorously and stir until smooth. Set Aside.
Meanwhile, preheat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil to the pan, then add the ground beef (or lamb if you prefer). Season the meat with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, and brown the meat, crumbling it as it browns. If your meat has a high fat content, drain some of the drippings prior to the next step, leaving only about 1 or 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan.
Add the chopped carrots and onions to the ground beef and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so, stirring often. Remove from heat, pour mixture into a large bowl, and keep warm.
The gravy will be made separately. In the same pan, over medium heat cook 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp of flour together for a few minutes, stirring often, making a light roux. Make certain to keep an eye on this mixture because it can burn. If it burns, start over. You will only need to cook the butter and flour for a minute or so until it mixes together and is smooth. Then add the beef broth, Worcestershire and Sherry Peppers Sauce, and fresh thyme to the roux. Stir and allow gravy to thicken. It should only take a minute or so.
Add the ground meat mixture back into the pan with the gravy, with the heat still on low, and stir in your frozen peas.
Preheat your oven broiler to high.
I would make these in individual ramekins, but you can also make this in a deep dish pie plate. Whichever baking dish you choose, fill it with your meat and veggie mixture. Top the mixture with your mashed potatoes and spread evenly over the mixture. You can use a large serving fork to get the design you see in the photo below, or pipe on the potatoes through a pastry bag if you happen to have one. (I do not). Sprinkle some paprika on top and broil around 5 - 6 inches from the heat until the potatoes are evenly browned.
Depending on your broiler, keep a very close eye on this. For those of you like me with an infrared broiler, you might be safer to just use a very hot (500 degrees) oven for 10 minutes, and broil for about 60 seconds at the end.
Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley on top and serve.