Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Herb Wreath Shepherd's Pie

Just after Thanksgiving, BB bought a beautiful rosemary and lemon thyme wreath.  Inspired by the vivacious scent of the herbs and a package of ground lamb from the CSA, I created this recipe for Winter Solstice dinner.  It turned out very well.

This week we spotted fresh ground lamb at the farmer's market, BB suggested we make "shepherd's pie with the wreath." 

Since this is the second time I've made the recipe, I've learned a couple of things: mince the rosemary; dot the potatoes with butter before baking for a nicely browned crust; and garnish with a spring of rosemary and a sprinkling of crushed thyme leaves.  For an elegant presentation, bake in (6) 1 C ramekins.  Enjoy!

Herb Wreath Shepherd's Pie
1 1/2 lbs of potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 C water from cooking the potatoes
4 T butter

12 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
1T canola oil
1 t salt
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
1 T flour
3/4 C water
1 t lemon thyme and rosemary from wreath, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil. Boil gently for 15 minutes or until easily pierced with fork. Drain, return to pan with reserved water, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Mash and stir vigorously until desired texture.

Heat 1/2 T oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and salt and cook unitl they start to brown. Add remaining oil, carrots, celery and onion, and cook until softened. Add lamb, and cook until browned and cooked through. Spoon off excess fat from the pan. Add 1 T flour and herbs to the pan, stirring until combined. Add water, and stir to deglaze the pan

Place filling in 8" square baking pan. Top with mashed potatoes, leaving a rough texture or raking with tines of a fork. Bake in oven 30 minutes or until bubbly and potatoes are browned.

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