Monday, March 17, 2008

Shepherd's Pie with a twist...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

While I'm sure it's not too traditional, we thought we would have a little fun with dinner tonight and try out this Upside-Down Shepherd's Pie.

What we did was make a thick mashed potato boat to encase a juicy meat filling. Buttery Yukon Golds were the potato of choice - you don't have to, but we love the added flavor the nutrient-rich skins have, so they stayed on. Go ahead and peel if you are not keen on that texture in your mashers. Once the potatoes had boiled until they were fork-tender, we drained off the cooking water and placed them back into the warm pot. Using this method, the heat retained by the pan will evaporate some of the excess liquid in the potatoes. When you add the milk and butter, I like to warm them slightly in the microwave so I'm not adding cold ingredients to hot potatoes. After I smashed them with a potato masher, the mixture was scooped into a casserole dish and spread to an even thickness. I then used damp fingertips to make a lip around the edges to hold in the filling.

The filling is prepared while the potatoes are bubbling away. Lean ground sirloin and a chopped onion are the base ingredients - when they have cooked, a couple cloves worth of minced garlic are then added. At this point, a bit of flour is sprinkled over the meat and allowed to simmer a couple minutes to remove any of that raw flour flavor. Corn kernels, beef broth, tangy ketchup and of course, Worcestershire sauce, are stirred in - the flour you just added will help tighten up the liquids, leaving you with a hearty meat filling. Spooned into the mashed potato shell, the dish gains a cheesy note by a scattering of white Cheddar on top. Just a couple minutes under the broiler to melt the cheese and this dish was ready to go!

What a total comfort food dish - the creamy potatoes with a generous moist, beefy filling and just enough cheese for a sharp bite. Since I wanted it to hold its shape while taking pictures, I did let it sit after it came out of the oven for a few minutes.


  1. what an interesting idea! i will definitely need to give this a shot the next time i make my shepherd's pie.

  2. This is interesting. Never thought of that one. Love it.

  3. Love the idea... and that brings up other ideas, like deconstructed pirogies with dough, mashed potatoes, maybe some onion, topped with a bit of sour cream...

    Great version of a classic here

  4. I like so looks very nice and yummy and I love potatoes's dishes!! Gloria

  5. Elly - Let me know how it turns out!

    Helene - We thought it was a nice twist!

    Curt - Good thoughts on bringing this to other types!

    Gloria - Thanks!