Hi guys! I know it has been months since my last post, but for personal and medical reason I had to take a long break. As a matter of facts, I underwent recently a jaw surgery and I’m currently recovering. However, I decided to take a break from my recovery and post new recipe for Easter. First, Happy Easter to you and your family!
Today, since it’s Easter, as you have guessed, Lamb will be on the menu. Well Lamb is always on the menu for Easter in my household as part of a family tradition. However, on few exceptional occasions, my mom would cook roe deer instead of lamb on Easter. Back to our lamb! The recipe that I will be sharing today, it’s a classical one. I’m sure many of you have already cooked it or eaten it at home, at restaurants…etc.
It is my take on Shepherd Pie. And I have called it My Easter Lamb and Veal Shepherd Pie. Usually people would have Shepherd Pies for Saint Patrick’s Day, for example. You might be thinking, why having Shepherd Pies for Easter? The answer is kind of simple. As I said in my opening, I just had a jaw surgery and as part of my recovery I can only eat food with soft consistency. So, having a big chunk of meat was out of question. Therefore, I decided to celebrate Easter by cooking something tasty while respecting my doctor’s orders.
As usual, I tried to bring some of my own twist to this classical recipe. First, I mixed two different types of meat i.e. lamb and veal together. At first, I was a bit worried to try this combination. I have mixed beef and pork, pork and veal, as well chicken and pork but never lamb with veal. Veal has a delicate flavor while lamb has a stronger one. So, my worry was that both meats wouldn’t work well together. At the end, everything worked out perfectly and I was satisfied with the result.
And of course, because I love my food extra spicy, I add chili flakes and ginger for some extra kick. I hope you will enjoy it. And maybe next Easter, try this.
Prep time: 30 min Cooking time: 50 min Servings: 4-6
500g or 1.10 pound of ground Lamb
350g or 0.77 pound of ground Veal
1 cup of sweet green peas
2 grated Onions (use 3 onions if they are small onions)
4 grated Carrots
5 grated cloves of Garlic
1 teaspoon of grated Ginger (optional)
1-2 tablespoon of Tomato paste
2 tablespoon of Tomato ketchup
1 cup of Vegetable stock
½ cup of Red Wine
1-2 teaspoons of Chili flakes
3-4 Russet or Idaho Potatoes
½ cup of Butter (softened ideally)
¼ cup of Bread crumbs (I used panko crumbs)
¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 4-6 chunks, depending on their sizes. In a large saucepan, filled with salted water, over medium heat, cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until they turn tender easy to mash.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the meat layer preparation.
Over medium heat, heat a saucepan, drizzle some olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons). Add both meats with chili flakes, ginger, salt and pepper. Stir for 4-5 minutes, with a wooden spoon, before adding onion, garlic and carrots. Stir for another 4-5 minutes.
Add tomato paste and stir. Pour in the red wine then the vegetable stock. Reduce the heat to medium-low to allow the alcohol to cook. After 5 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of ketchup. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce thickened. Add the sweet peas at the very end. Stir, cover with the lid on and turn off the heat.
Heat the oven at 375˚F.
Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the heat, drain them. Using a vegetable mill, mash the potatoes. Incorporate 2/3 of butter to obtain a smooth consistency.
In a casserole dish or baking dish, add the layer of the meat mixture. Fill at least 2/3 of the dish if you like your shepherd pie to have more meat. Top off the meat mixture with mashed potatoes. Use a fork to rough up the surface of the purée. Sprinkle bread crumbs mixed with parmesan on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the purée turn golden and brown.
And it’s time to serve.
To allow the bread crumbs and parmesan to gratinate quickly and to turn golden and brown, drop few knobs of softened butter on top of the potatoes layer before baking it in the oven. That’s why I only used 2/3 of the butter in the mashed potatoes. The remaining 1/3 is used to help the shepherd pie top to gratinate.
I always use ketchup to kill the acidity that comes with the tomato paste.
For the sweet green peas, I always used frozen ones. But if you can find fresh ones, got for it.