Shepherd’s Pie with Gouda & Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

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Cheese and rice, that’s a long title. I didn’t really know what to call it but since I’ll be showing you two different recipes in this post I figured I’d better include both of them.

Every year around St. Patrick’s Day I get the hankerin’ for good ole’ fashioned pub cuisine. Boxty, haggis, shepherd’s pie, and more. Normally I like to frequent the ever-amazing, authentic pub in Oklahoma City that goes by the name of Sean Cummings’ Irish Pub. It is pure bliss and if you live or are visiting in the OKC area, get your butt over there. There are very few places around here where EVERYTHING on the menu is delicious – EVERY’TING! Bonus, they have live music most evenings – and who doesn’t like live music of the Gaelic variety. If you’re needing something to do on the 17th, head on over there and thank us later.

Wait! Rewind there, lady! You like haggis? Ewww that is so gross….

Oh man, traditional haggis is delicious and I’m so happy that they lifted the 21-year ban back in 2010. If you haven’t tried it, at least try it once. It’s delicious, just don’t think about what goes into it and you’ll be fine. I personally don’t care since I’m a foodie who’s willing to try almost everything once. Mmmmmm, dang it! Now I want haggis, thanks Nerdship!

Since there is no haggis to be had right now, I’m going to get back on track with this blog post and continue to tell you how awesome shepherd’s pie truly is. First, let me clear up a misconception that I’ve run into after telling a few of our family members that we made the pie. Unless you are using actual ground lamb, it is not shepherd’s pie. When you make this dish and add in beef or pork it’s technically called Cottage Pie. Lamb = Shepherd is the easiest way to remember it.

photo by Graham Hobbs in Dorset, U.K..

Shepherd’s pie is broken down into a few components: gravy, vegetables, lamb (either ground or cubed), spices and mashed potatoes. It’s something that goes from the pan to the oven to the plate and can be made as simple or as complex as you’d like. It’s best if you have the time to let everything merry and stew. If you are in a pinch, you can use box mashed taters – but I don’t recommend it since homemade are just as easy and you can make both the filling and the mashed potatoes at the same time. Homemade taters can bring your shepherd’s pie to a whole new level too!

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So first let’s get to the taters, precious. Mmmmmm taters, precious! I am a tater-girl. I have an on-going affair with french fries, a deep love for mashed potatoes, and an extreme fondness for baked potatoes (topped with sour cream, butter, and BBQ).  For quality mashed taters start with top-notch potatoes. Sure you can use Russets for this dish, but I recommend going with Yukon Golds. They’re creamier when cooked and are almost buttery in both taste and texture. They’re simple to make and even easier to eat. Om nom nom. The following recipe for the Gouda & Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes can be eaten straight out of the bowl or on top of our Shepherd’s Pie.

What's taters, precious. What's taters!?!

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 large, Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered.
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 springs of dill
  • 1 teaspoons of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 3/4 cup of gouda (smoked is preferred, but regular is fine), shredded.

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Directions

  1. Wash and quarter your potatoes (- don’t remove the potato skins), then place them in a large pot that’s about halfway full of water (either room temp or cold) then place the pot on to your stove and turn it onto medium-high to high heat so that it’s get a’boiling. mashedpotatoes_nerdsandnomsense-3
  2. Let those puppies boil away until you can easily pierce the potato quarters with a fork, about 20-ish minutes. The strain into a calendar and dump into a mixing bowl (stand mixers make quick work of taters).mashedpotatoes_nerdsandnomsense-4
  3. Pour in your buttermilk, butter, fresh dill, and seasonings and then blend/mix until smooth – about 45 seconds on medium speed. Your potatoes should be pretty creamy at this point.
  4. Add in your cheese and mix until everything is incorporated.mashedpotatoes_nerdsandnomsense-5
  5. Dig in or top your Shepherd’s Pie with these tasty taters. I do suggest doing a little quality control, it’s for the good of the people of course.

Now that we’ve got the taters finished, let them cool a bit while you prepare your shepherd’s pie filling. If you’re curious where to buy lamb, many major stores carry it in their meat sections. You can get it from the deli if you’re around places like Central Market or Whole Foods, or of course some sort of butcher shop. They tend to be anywhere from 6 to 8 dollars a pound, so it’s a little pricier but it’s totally worth it.

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Little Bo Peep Has Nothing On Us!

Makes: 8-9 ramkin single servings or 1-9×9 sized casserole 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs of ground lamb
  • 2 carrots, diced small.
  • 2 stalks of celery,
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 4 coves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups of frozen sweet peas
  • 12 oz of Harp Lager, divided
  • 1/2 tablespoon of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of worchester sauce
  • 1/3 cup of AP flour
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, unsalted.

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and grease the pan/casserole dish that you’re going to use.
  2. In a large skillet, melt your butter on a medium heat. While it’s starting to melt, go ahead and cut up your fresh veggies. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-2
  3. Once the butter has melted, add in your carrots, celery, and shallots. [The fancy French term for this trio is Mirepoix and is a standard cooking base for a lot of tasty things.] Let them cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly, then add in your minced garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, just so it can soften but not burn. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-3
  4. After your veggies have had time to cook, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a large mixing bowl or something that’s heat-safe. Try to keep as much liquid in the pan as possible. The Mirepoix was cooked first so we could season the pan for the lamb. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-4
  5. Add your ground lamb to the pan and brown the meat, stirring regularly. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  6. When your lamb has had time to brown, add in your sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup of Harp, white pepper, salt, and fresh rosemary. Cover and let your mushrooms cook for about 5 minutes. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-6
  7. Again, take your slotted spoon and scoop out your meat and mushrooms, leaving as much liquid behind as possible. We’re going to use the drippings/liquid to make your gravy and it will be delicious!
  8. Sprinkle your A.P. flour all over your skillet and let it cook off the flour taste for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. After it has started to develop a nutty smell, go ahead and stir everything in the skillet together. You should have a thick paste. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-8ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-10
  9. Slowly add in the remainder of your Harp as well as the worchester sauce. Whisk until you have a smooth, thick-ish gravy. It shouldn’t take long. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-7ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-11
  10. Add back in your veggies, frozen peas, and meat and let that simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low to low heat. Stir occasionally so that things don’t start to stick to the bottom of your pan. If you don’t want/like mushy peas, don’t add them until right before you place everything in your baking dish. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-12
  11. Grab your baking dishes and make sure that they’re prepped and ready to go if you haven’t done so already. I ended up using a mix of ramekins and a casserole dish.
  12. Layer your dish with filling (meat/veggies), top with the gouda and buttermilk mashed potatoes and then sprinkle a generous helping of shredded gouda on top of everything. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-13ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-14ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-15
  13. Place all your containers on to a baking sheet and bake at  375F for 25-30 minutes.
  14. Don’t remove it out of the oven yet. You’re going to crack open your oven door and turn your broiler on high and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the tops of your potatoes/gouda get nice and golden-brown. ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-17
  15. Remove from the oven and let cool for a 5-8 minutes. The filling will be molten lava so please be careful as the mashed potatoes act like an insulator of sorts. Garnish with a piece of fresh dill and enjoy! ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-22Disclaimer: We are not to be held liable if after eating this delicious dish you then get the urge to wear kilts, listen to gaelic music, or decide to buy season tickets to all of the Dropkick Murphy concerts. 

ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-20ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-24ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-30ShepherdsPie_nerdsandnomsense-21This dish is perfect for leftovers, after it’s been in the fridge awaiting it’s fate go ahead and preheat your oven for 350F. DO NOT MICROWAVE THIS STUFF! It will be alright if you do, but if you have the option, heat it up in the oven for 35-45 minutes. Let it cool slightly so you don’t burn your mouth on it and enjoy! 

Gouda & Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These are great just by themselves or topped onto our Shepherd's Pie filling.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 8-10 large, Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered.
  • ½ cup of buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 springs of dill
  • 1 teaspoons of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • ¾ cup of gouda (smoked is preferred, but regular is fine), shredded.
Instructions
  1. Wash and quarter your potatoes (- don't remove the potato skins), then place them in a large pot that's about halfway full of water (either room temp or cold) then place the pot on to your stove and turn it onto medium-high to high heat so that it's get a'boiling.
  2. Let those puppies boil away until you can easily pierce the potato quarters with a fork, about 20-ish minutes. The strain into a calendar and dump into a mixing bowl (stand mixers make quick work of taters).
  3. Pour in your buttermilk, butter, fresh dill, and seasonings and then blend/mix until smooth - about 45 seconds on medium speed. Your potatoes should be pretty creamy at this point.
  4. Add in your cheese and mix until everything is incorporated.
  5. Dig in or top your Shepherd's Pie with these tasty taters. I do suggest doing a little quality control, it's for the good of the people of course.
 
Shepherd's Pie with Gouda & Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Casserole
Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 lbs of ground lamb
  • 2 carrots, diced small.
  • 2 stalks of celery,
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 4 coves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups of frozen sweet peas
  • 12 oz of Harp Lager, divided
  • ½ tablespoon of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of worchester sauce
  • ⅓ cup of AP flour
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, unsalted.
  • Gouda & Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, about 4-5 cups of prepared potatoes.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and grease the pan/casserole dish that you're going to use.
  2. In a large skillet, melt your butter on a medium heat. While it's starting to melt, go ahead and cut up your fresh veggies.
  3. Once the butter has melted, add in your carrots, celery, and shallots. [The fancy French term for this trio is Mirepoix and is a standard cooking base for a lot of tasty things.] Let them cook for aobut 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly, then add in your minced garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, just so it can soften but not burn.
  4. After your veggies have had time to cook, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a large mixing bowl or something that's heat-safe. Try to keep as much liquid in the pan as possible. The Mirepoix was cooked first so we could season the pan for the lamb.
  5. Add your ground lamb to the pan and brown the meat, stirring regularly. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  6. When your lamb has had time to brown, add in your sliced mushrooms, ½ cup of Harp, white pepper, salt, and fresh rosemary. Cover and let your mushrooms cook for about 5 minutes.
  7. Again, take your slotted spoon and scoop out your meat and mushrooms, leaving as much liquid behind as possible. We're going to use the drippings/liquid to make your gravy and it will be delicious!
  8. Sprinkle your A.P. flour all over your skillet and let it cook off the flour taste for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. After it has started to develop a nutty smell, go ahead and stir everything in the skillet together. You should have a thick paste.
  9. Slowly add in the remainder of your Harp as well as the worchester sauce. Whisk until you have a smooth, thick-ish gravy. It shouldn't take long.
  10. Add back in your veggies, frozen peas, and meat and let that simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low to low heat. Stir occasionally so that things don't start to stick to the bottom of your pan. If you don't want/like mushy peas, don't add them until right before you place everything in your baking dish.
  11. Grab your baking dishes and make sure that they're prepped and ready to go if you haven't done so already. I ended up using a mix of ramekins and a casserole dish.
  12. Layer your dish with filling (meat/veggies), top with the gouda and buttermilk mashed potatoes and then sprinkle a generous helping of shredded gouda on top of everything.
  13. Place all your containers on to a baking sheet and bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes.
  14. Don't remove it out of the oven yet. You're going to crack open your oven door and turn your broiler on high and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the tops of your potatoes/gouda get nice and golden-brown.
  15. Remove from the oven and let cool for a 5-8 minutes. The filling will be molten lava so please be careful as the mashed potatoes act like an insulator of sorts. Garnish with a piece of dill and enjoy!

 What is your favorite pub dish? How will you be celebrating St. Patty’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!

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