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Shepherd's Pie: A hearty recipe for fall

Monday - 9/16/2013, 7:45am  ET

ShepherdsPie.jpg
Shepherd's pie is a traditional meat pie with a potato crust. WTOP contributor Mary Beth Albright shares her personal recipe. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON - WTOP Living asked food contributor Mary Beth Albright to submit a recipe that screams "fall." Her submission? A hearty serving of shepherd's pie -- a dish she made for Rachael Ray on "The Rachael Ray Show."

So if you are at a loss for a warm meal that will fill your family's stomachs, try Albright's shepherd's pie.


This recipe violates my rule against recipes with a lot of ingredients, but every one gives this pie its distinct flavor. I couldn't leave a single one out -- but feel free to make it even if you don't have five fresh herbs lying around.

Shepherd's pie is traditionally made with lamb, but you can substitute beef for a "cottage pie." This recipe also works great with Thanksgiving leftovers.

The piping bag makes this dinner "as fun as a cake" for the kids, in Rachael's words, and is a clever way to get kids to eat their carrots. Hope you love it as much as my family does!

Shepherd's Pie

For the mashed potato crust:

  • 1 pounds potatoes, peeled and large diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg

For the carrot puree:

  • pound carrot
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream

For the lamb filling:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, cut in thinly sliced rounds
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • cup red wine
  • cup beef stock
  • 1 lamb bone
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup peas
  • pound pecorino cheese (about 1 cup shredded)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook potatoes until fork-tender. Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil and cook carrots until fork tender, drain and set aside.

Drain and mash potatoes with next four ingredients. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then mash in egg. Place potatoes in 9-inch pie dish evenly and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat oil and cook onion, garlic, carrots and celery until tender, about eight minutes. Add lamb and cook until brown. Add tomato paste, wine, stock and bone and cook for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is mostly dissolved. Discard bone and add next six ingredients. Place lamb mixture evenly on top of potato crust.

In a blender, process carrots, cream and salt until smooth. Place in a piping bag and pipe in small dots all over the top of the pie. Bake the whole thing for 10 minutes and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Mary Beth Albright is the author of "How Apples Grow: The Grow Your World Series." Albright is a frequent contributor to WTOP, and works as a local food lawyer and food expert.

Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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