Shepard’s Pie

Earlier this week my friend and I had Irish movie night and I decided to make something from the UK for dinner.  I have always been a fan of Shepard’s pie and thought this was the perfect opportunity despite the soaring temperatures.  I usually make it the North American way – using beef as the meat of choice.  I added a bit of dill seed this time for a little different flavor and was thoroughly impressed.

Shepard’s PieShepard's Pie

1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish pieces for boiling

200g ground beef/pork mix (it’s hard to find just ground beef in the sticks of Japan)

1 small onion, diced

1 1/2 cups mixed frozen vegetables (I sometimes use spinach instead)

200mL gravy

1tsp dill seed

salt and pepper to taste

1tbsp butter

splash of milk

Potatoes – Boil the potatoes, drain and mash.  Add the butter first and mix until melted.  Add a bit of milk to make creamy.  Set aside.

Meat – brown meat and onion in frying pan. Season with salt, pepper and dill seed.  When finished, turn down heat to low and add gravy.  Simmer until thickened and the dill seed is fragrant.

Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F.

Lightly oil the sides of a glass casserole dish (the meat will likely not stick but the potatoes may).  Put the meat and gravy in the bottom of the dish, next add the vegetables and top with potatoes, smoothing the top with a spatula.  Some people add more butter on top so the potatoes brown really nicely.  I don’t but often sprinkle some paprika on top.

Bake for 30min or until it bubbles.  Put under the broiler to brown the top of the potatoes, if desired.  Let sit for about five minutes before serving.

Variation

Instead of using regular gravy I often make miso gravy.  I generally take a couple of tablespoons of miso, mix with a bit of water (keep it thick) and add it to the meat.  I would skip the dill seed in this case too.

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