Monday, February 20, 2012

Shepherd's Pie with Horseradish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Shepherd's pie is one of those dishes Craig has been begging me to make for years. I have never tried it, since I'm generally turned off by super heavy comfort type foods. It always seemed like a very unhealthy and labor intensive dish to make.

Well. I decided to give it a try this weekend. Craig and I celebrated Valentine's Day a bit late. On Saturday, he took me up to the White Mountains to finally try snowmobiling! I have been wanting to try it for years, and I actually had it on my list of things to try before I turn 30. We went on a tour up through the mountains and it was so beautiful. More importantly, snowmobiling was so. much. fun. I had a blast. I only wish the instructors had let us drive faster! It was a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday. So when we got home, I finally made Craig the shepherd's pie he's been requesting.

Having no clue how to make this dish, I primarly got my inspiration from an article in Men's Journal that Craig had shown me a few months ago. I found an online version here. I started with the suggestions in the article and sort of made my own modifications. I tried to cram in a lot of delicious root veggies and kept the mashed potatoes as low calorie as I could. For flavors, I used thyme and bay leaves, as the article suggested and then used horseradish to flavor the potatoes. I bought a huge horseradish root this weekend, so I'll be incorporating it into a whole bunch of recipes this week.

The result was delicious. The preparation is pretty straightforward and easy to put together. I was really impressed with the delicious flavors and found the veggies added great texture to the dish. As expected, it falls into the super filling, comfort food category, the sort of meal that makes you feel sleepy when you're finished. I can officially say I'm a shepherd's pie convert! I am already envisioning all sorts of variations to this simple recipe.

Read more for the full recipe!

Craig and I in our gear

I wish they let me drive faster!

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1lb ground lamb (you can substitute ground beef)
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium parsnip, diced
1 medium turnip, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1.5 cups dark beer (I used Guinness)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme + 1 tbsp
1.5lbs red potatoes
1 cup skim milk
2 tbsp grated horseradish root (or 1 tbsp prepared horseradish)
salt & pepper
1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated

Step by Step Instructions:

1. In a cast iron skillet, brown lamb on med heat in olive oil for 4-5 minutes, breaking up large chunks

2. Remove lamb from skillet, set aside

3. Pour out fat from skillet

4. Saute onions on medium heat 2-3 minutes

5. Add carrots, parsnip, and turnip, cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes, until softened

6. Add tomato paste and beer and stir thoroughly

7. Add chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme

8. Season with salt and pepper to taste

9. Cook uncovered on medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until liquid is reduced, remove thyme and bay leaves

10. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil

11. Add potatoes and cook, uncovered for 10-12 minutes, until fork tender

12. Drain potatoes and return to pot

13. Add milk, thyme and horseradish

14. Mash potatoes thoroughly and season with salt and pepper

15. Using a spatula, spread potatoes over reduced meat mixture into one even layer

16. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese on top

17. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, until potatoes have browned

18. Serve hot

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At February 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM , Blogger PolaM said...

It sounds delicious! I'm sure the horseradish and the cheese take it to the next level!

At February 21, 2012 at 2:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks amazing and I completely agree with PolaM - the horseradish and cheese DO take it to the next level! It looks like snow mobiling was a GRAND time!

At February 21, 2012 at 9:18 AM , Blogger Yummy said...

I like the sound of the horseradish cheddar potatoes! Yum!

At February 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds fabulous! I love shepherd's pie, but haven't done it in years. Gonna have to try your version.

At February 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM , Blogger The Three Little Piglets said...

Sounds like you had a great time - snowmobiling and eating!

At February 22, 2012 at 12:33 AM , Blogger Kim Bee said...

This is what keeps playing in my head...

wait, what,
wait, what,
wait, what?

This is FRIGGING cool. I love how you turned shepherd's pie on it's head. I must try this one.

At February 22, 2012 at 2:16 AM , Blogger Katherine said...

Mmmm I love shepard's pie and my husband would go nuts for the horseradish-cheddar mashed potatoes on top! Great idea. I've never been snowmobiling but it sounds fun!

At February 22, 2012 at 2:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favourite comfort food - loving the horseradish. I've awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award...really enjoy reading your blog...x

At February 22, 2012 at 3:29 AM , Blogger The Chef Doc said...

Yay! I'm excited about this recipe. The ingredients you used sound wonderful! I like that it's a healthier version of Shepherd's Pie. I was just asked this morning about my version of it. I guess I'll have to figure one out, lol. Snowmobiling looks like so much fun! We don't have much snow at all around here :-(

At February 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM , Blogger Kate from Scratch said...

Looks Delicious! Congratulations on the top 9!

At February 22, 2012 at 11:27 AM , Blogger Dara Reppucci said...

Awww. Thanks! I've never gotten an award before. I enjoy reading your blog as well. :)

At February 22, 2012 at 1:44 PM , Blogger CherylK said...

Congratulations on your Top 9 spot! This recipe really caught my eye because I love Shepherd's Pie. I think adding the horseradish was a brilliant idea.

At February 22, 2012 at 2:39 PM , Blogger Jenn Kendall said...

Congrats on the top 9! this shepherd's pie sounds AMAZING...i just love the horseradish cheddar mashed potatoes! yum!!

At July 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM , Blogger Anita said...

You look good together with those snowmobile helmets clothing, and gears on. Anyway, congrats on your top 9 spot.


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