Easter Leftovers’ Shepherd’s Pie

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Romaine, Asparagus, Tomato Salad and Lamb-Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

whole Shep pie

Lamb and Sweet Potato Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

Yesterday, I made this pie with the leftovers from the Easter Lamb. Ordinarily there are no leftovers in our family, but there was a lot of good food at our feast, eaten at my brother Peter’s house, on a spur of the moment trip to Massachusetts.

Peter, and his wife Jenny, served ham, ribs, potato salad, biscuits, peas, and this unplanned, unscheduled lamb latecomer. It was the last recipe from our forthcoming cookbook that needed real-time testing, and it’s a good thing I did: Either my mom’s oven was too hot, or my timing was way off because what looked beautiful on the outside and had great flavor and aroma, turned out overcooked. That’s not okay. When a recipe asks for you to invest in an expensive cut of meat then that recipe better work! So we had some leftover, overcooked lamb to deal with. (It had been boned, rolled, stuffed with an aromatic rice, roasted, and glazed with pomegranate molasses.)

This idea came to me as I ruminated on the flavors in the dish—onions, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, sour cherries, and pistachios. The sweet spices made me think of sweet potatoes (but not without regular ones too) which led me to Shepherd’s Pie, a dish no doubt invented to use up meat from a big roast. I’m sharing this dish because someone mentioned that it looked and sounded bad. Now I agree that a pile of mixed up meat and mash isn’t the best looking dish, but it tasted really, really good, so I feel compelled to explain. Here’s how it went:

  1. Boil half Idaho potatoes and half sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped. Mash with butter, milk, and a touch of orange juice/zest.
  2. Chop leftover meat in cubes, and separate from the rice. Chop a small onion and a celery stalk.
  3. Sautée the aromatics in butter until softened, about 3 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons flour and a sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper. Cook, while stirring a few more minutes.
  4. Stir in a couple cups chicken, lamb, or veg stock. Simmer until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat and fold in the meat.
  5. Butter a casserole dish. Layer in the rice stuffing, then the lamb mixtue. Smooth the mash over top. Sprinkle with Paprika and dot with butter. Cook at 375 for 40 minutes.
  6. And voila! Leftover Easter Lamb Shepherd’s Pie 🙂
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