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Shepherd's Pie


  • 2 pounds potatoes, such as Russet, peeled and cubed

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 3/4 pounds ground lamb

  • A pinch of allspice

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup beef stock or broth

  • 1/2 cup dark beer

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1/2 cup cream

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley (a handful), chopped


Fill a large pot with water, add the potatoes, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Add some salt and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Once hot, add the lamb and, using the back of a wooden spoon, break it up as it browns, about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and allspice. Add carrot, parsnip and onion, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Dust with flour, cook 1 minute, then add stock, beer and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until thickened, then transfer to an ovensafe pan. Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Let sit a few minutes to cool slightly. Add sour cream or cream cheese, egg yolk and cream. Smash until smooth. Pre-heat broiler to high. Spoon potato mixture evenly over the meat mixture. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6-8 inches from the heat until evenly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.