How to make a shepherd’s pie using fantastic Irish ingredients

Kitchen Cabinet: Peter Everett on his technique for creating a wholesome family meal

Shepherd’s pie can  be a wholesome family meal. File photograph: Getty Images

Shepherd’s pie can be a wholesome family meal. File photograph: Getty Images

 

In this recipe I use Comeragh mountain lamb shoulder. This is a fantastic, seasonal product from Willie Drohan in Lemybrien, Co Waterford. You can, of course, use any good quality Irish lamb shoulder.

The details below are more of a technique than a recipe – feel free to add or take away ingredients according to availability or preference. If you are near the southeast, Tom Cleary’s Queens are coming into season soon and are the perfect potato for this dish. This is a wholesome family meal.

Peter Everett is chef owner of Everett’s in Waterford city.

Comeragh lamb shepherd’s pie

Serves five to six

Ingredients
One boned lamb shoulder approximately 2kg, cut into five or six pieces
2 Spanish onions
1 head of celery
Five large carrots
500ml chicken stock (cube is fine)
2 diced ripe tomatoes
One half head of garlic, peeled
Thyme, bay leaves, rosemary
2 tbsp cornflour
1kg of your favourite mashing potato

Method

1. Season the lamb shoulder pieces and brown in a pan, then place in a casserole dish.

2. Dice all the vegetables (except the potato) into roughly even, bite-sized chunks.

3. Take the vegetable trimmings and brown them in the pan, and then add them to the casserole dish with the lamb.

4. Barely cover the lamb with chicken stock and add a sprig of thyme, rosemary and some bay leaves.

5. Place the casserole dish in the oven (at 150 degrees Celsius for a fan oven) for approximately 2½ hours.

6. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and take two tablespoons of fat from the dish and use this to roast the diced vegetables. The vegetables should be roasted in the oven (at 180 degrees Celsius for a fan oven) for 20 minutes.

7. While the vegetables are roasting, remove the lamb and vegetable trim from the casserole dish. Shred the lamb roughly into a baking tray and discard the vegetable trim.

8. Take the cooking liquid from the casserole dish, remove excess fat from it and reduce the cooking liquid by half by simmering it. Thicken with the cornflour, which has been mixed with two tablespoons of water (slightly more or less may be required, depending on how thick you prefer the sauce).

9. Pour this sauce and the roasted vegetables over the lamb.

10. The dish is now ready for some potato. You can use mashed potato if you wish but I like to top it with sliced potatoes.

11. Peel the potatoes and parboil them in salted water for 10 minutes.

12. Remove the potatoes from the water, slice them thickly and overlap carefully on top of the lamb and vegetables.

13. Brush with a little melted butter and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

14. Everything can be done ahead of time to this stage and kept in the fridge to bake the next day. You can bake it in the oven (at 180 degrees Celsius for a fan oven) for half an hour, or slightly longer if taken directly from the fridge. The potatoes should be golden and crispy and the lamb should be piping hot.

Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland, who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome

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