Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

My son and I made this dish together for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner. We’ve been keeping ourselves busy while we’re stuck at home! He is a big fan of mashed potatoes, so he made the topping himself. I loved the ridged pattern on the finished crust.

Although the recipe is streamlined to be made in one skillet, it was still a little bit time-consuming. (Thankfully, we had plenty of time!) The plus side is that it can be prepared with ingredients that are readily available in your pantry and freezer. It definitely created less dishes too. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen via The Associated Press. It was originally published in their book, Cook it in Cast Iron. I used a combination of Dutch yellow baby potatoes and red potatoes instead of russet potatoes, ground turkey instead of ground beef, increased the amount of garlic, and modified the method. Great comfort food.

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 pounds potatoes, Dutch yellow baby potatoes (unpeeled), red potatoes (unpeeled), or russets (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 T unsalted butter, divided (4 T melted)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey or 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  1. Cover potatoes with water in large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon salt, bring to simmer over medium-high heat, and cook until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes for unpeeled baby potatoes or 8 to 10 minutes for peeled and cut russet potatoes.
  2. Drain potatoes and return them to saucepan. If using unpeeled baby potatoes, remove the peels at this point.
  3. Using a potato ricer, process all of the potatoes. (Alternatively the potatoes can be mashed until smooth.)
  4. In a measuring cup, whisk milk and egg together. Stir into potatoes along with 4 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cover and set aside.
  5. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  6. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet.
  7. Add carrots, onion, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  10. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  11. Slowly stir in stock and Worcestershire, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps.
  12. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
  13. Off the heat, stir in peas and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  14. Adjust oven rack 5 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.
  15. Dollop the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling. Smooth topping with a knife or the back of a spoon, then use the tines of a fork to make ridges on the surface.
  16. Place the skillet in the oven and broil until topping is golden brown and crusty, 5 to 10 minutes.
  17. Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

This was casserole was truly a one-dish meal. It is so loaded with vegetables, I didn’t feet the need to serve it with a salad or other green on the side. 🙂 We enjoyed it as our celebratory St. Patrick’s Day dinner this year. The “meaty” combination of lentils and mushrooms in this dish made my meat-loving family members happy. Don’t worry… they had corned beef sandwiches for lunch too.

My riced-potato topped casserole was filled with lentils, mushrooms, fresh herbs, as well as roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, and carrots. The sauce was flavored with dried porcini mushrooms, wine, onions, and loads of garlic. It was fabulously saucy with layers of rich flavor.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit. Next time, I would prepare the components of the dish a day in advance, as much as possible. The potato topping would ideally be prepared in advance at the very least. This delicious dish was absolutely worth the work and the wait! Great.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

For the Topping:

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
  • about 3/4 to 1 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • coarse salt

For the Filling:

  • Âľ cup brown or French green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 17 garlic cloves, divided
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped (about 3-4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I incorporated 4 cups homemade Turkey Stock)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce or 2 tablespoons white miso
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cups ½-inch pieces peeled fall/winter vegetables (such as squash, turnips, carrots, and parsnips) (I used 1 medium butternut squash, 1 head of cauliflower, & 2 carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed, halved
  • 2 4-inch sprigs rosemary
  • 10 oz (about 2 cups) bite-size pieces mixed fresh mushrooms (I used sliced cremini & white button mushrooms)
  • ÂĽ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, chives, and sage)

To Make the Topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°, preferably on convection.
  2. Bake potatoes on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet until tender, about 40 minutes for the gold potatoes and 1 hour for the russet potatoes.
  3. Let cool slightly, then peel.
  4. Press potatoes through a ricer, food mill, or colander into a large bowl.
  5. Add butter; stir until well blended.
  6. Stir in milk until desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.

DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool, press plastic wrap directly onto potatoes, and chill.

To Prepare the Lentils:

  1. Combine lentils, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp salt, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy, 15–25 minutes.
  3. Drain lentils and discard garlic. Set aside.

To Make the Sauce:

  1. Soak dried porcini in 3 cups hot water; set aside.
  2. Heat 3 T olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. (I used an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
  3. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add 10 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste is caramelized, 2–3 minutes.
  6. Add bay leaves and wine; stir, scraping up any browned bits.
  7. Stir in porcini, slowly pouring porcini soaking liquid into pan but leaving any sediment behind.
  8. Bring to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  10. Strain mixture into a large bowl with a spout. Discard the solids.
  11. Wipe Dutch oven clean and returned strained sauce to pot; bring to a boil. (I had 5 cups of strained sauce.)
  12. Stir cornstarch and 3 T water in a small bowl to dissolve.
  13. Add cornstarch mixture to hot sauce; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  14. Whisk in soy sauce/miso.
  15. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To Make the Vegetable Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°, preferably on convection roast.
  2. Toss vegetables and pearl onions with remaining 2 T oil, 6 garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs in a large bowl or on 2 parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide evenly between the 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast, stirring once, until tender, 20–25 minutes.
  4. Transfer garlic cloves to a small bowl; mash well with a fork and stir into sauce.
  5. Discard rosemary.

DO AHEAD: Lentils, sauce, and vegetables can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.

To Finish the Dish:

  1. Arrange lentils in an even layer in a 3-qt. baking dish; set dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Toss roasted vegetables with fresh mushrooms and chopped herbs; layer on top of lentils.
  3. Pour sauce over vegetables.
  4. Spoon potato mixture evenly over. Swirl decoratively.
  5. Bake at 425°, preferably on convection, until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking process.
  6. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

I’m sharing my St. Patrick’s Day feast at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #163 this week. Enjoy!!

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Four Years Ago:

Duchess Baked Potatoes

Making a mashed potato dish in advance is beyond fabulous when preparing a holiday meal. This garlicky, fine-textured, “twice baked potato-esque” side dish was wonderful.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Ann Redding and Matt Danzer. I increased the garlic and used a garlic press in lieu of grating the cloves. Great.

Yield: Serves 8

  • 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • coarse salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1ÂĽ cups heavy cream
  • Âľ cup sour cream
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pink or black peppercorns, finely ground
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and pour in water to cover by 2″; season with salt.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and simmer until a paring knife very easily slides through potatoes, 25–35 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°, preferably on convection.
  4. Whisk egg yolks, garlic, cream, sour cream, butter, and peppercorns in a large bowl; season generously with salt.
  5. Peel potatoes and pass flesh through a ricer or a food mill (or mash them by hand if you don’t mind a few lumps) directly into bowl with egg mixture.
  6. Fold in gently, being careful not to overmix.
  7. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish and decoratively shingle or swirl surface.
  8. Bake, rotating once, until golden brown and slightly puffed, 30–40 minutes.

Note: Dish can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Increase bake time by 5–10 minutes.

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Three Years Ago:

Shepherd’s Chicken Pot Pie

I’m not a corned beef and cabbage person. It’s okay! I bought some corned beef at Trader Joe’s so that my husband and son could make their St. Patrick’s Day sandwiches for lunch. 🙂

and…

Although I love a one-dish complete meal, I am also not a Shepherd’s pie person. Ugh. (I’m really not a picky eater!) But, when I saw this Shepherd’s pie twist on a chicken pot pie, I knew it would be the perfect “Irish” meal to serve on St. Patrick’s Day. We ate it with roasted asparagus and green salad- just to add some celebratory green to our meal. Great comfort food!

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Scott Hocker. I increased both the chicken and garlic and modified the roasting temperature and time in order to coordinate with my roasted asparagus. I loved Hocker’s description of this dish as “a complete meal in every bite.”

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Total Time: 1 hour

For the Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (I used 3 russet potatoes)
  • coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, cut into chunks or chopped in a food processor
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Make the Potatoes:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with warm, salted water, then bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until the potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then mash them with the milk, butter, and salt to taste.
  4. Reserve the mashed potatoes.

Make the Filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. (I used the convection roast setting.)
  2. Chop the garlic in a food processor, followed by the onion and then the carrots.
  3. In a large cast-iron or heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat until hot, then stir in the onion, garlic, carrots, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the flour and cook, until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then stir in the chicken. Cook until desired thickness is achieved.
  7. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste.

Complete the Dish:

  1. Transfer the filling to a 3-quart baking dish. (I used a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.)
  2. Spread the potatoes evenly over top of the filling.
  3. Bake the shepherd’s pie pot pie in the preheated oven until the potatoes are browned in spots and the filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes.
  4. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

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Grilled Pork Chops with Fried-Sage Salsa Verde and Sage Potatoes

IMG_9559

I am such a sauce person- this dish was super saucy! Sauce on the pork chops with sauce on the side. 🙂 The recipe was adapted from a “staff-favorite” Food and Wine dish. I adapted the recipe by decreasing the olive oil and by incorporating the leftover sage-grapeseed oil into mashed potatoes with grilled scallions. This was a wonderful dish to make with my giant herb garden sage and parsley plants too. Very flavorful and tasty.

  • Grapeseed oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup sage leaves
  • 1 medium-large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 10 T cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery heart with leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • six 3/4-pound boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 pounds gold potatoes
  • 6-8 scallions, grilled
  • milk, to taste
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 inch of grapeseed oil until shimmering. Add the sage and fry over moderate heat, stirring, until the sizzling stops and the leaves are crisp, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. In a mini food processor, mince the shallot. Add the vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, celery, capers and thyme and pulse to mince; season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the olive oil.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash.
  4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the pork chops with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 135°, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Lightly brush the scallions with olive oil. Grill until tender. Coarsely slice.
  6. Stir the fried sage leaves into the salsa verde and serve with the pork chops.
  7. Stir the sage-grapeseed oil into the mashed potatoes, small amounts at a time, with milk, to taste, to achieve desired texture. Stir in the chopped grilled scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_9554

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