Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional pub dish. Some claim it as British, others as Irish. In either case, it’s a quick dish to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It’s made with cubes of preferably lamb but also beef, veal or pork, and vegetables and a tomato-based sauce. Top it with mashed potatoes and cheese.
This one-dish meal usually cooks slowly in the oven. I’ve shortened the time by sautéing the meat and vegetables in a skillet, topping it with mashed potatoes and placing it under the broiler for a few minutes. It’s very easy to make and freezes well. If you have time, double the recipe and save half for another quick meal.
If you use lamb for this recipe, opt for cubes cut from the leg.
On the side, serve pre-washed salad with sliced tomatoes and a reduced-fat salad dressing.
Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: “When I see lamb, somehow I always think merlot. Try it and let me know what you think.”
Lamb stew meat can be used. Remove as much fat as possible from the meat before cooking and cook the dish five minutes longer. Leftover roast lamb is OK, too; add it later in the preparation as noted below.
Use a pan that can go from stovetop to broiler. If you don’t have one, cook it in the skillet and transfer to a casserole dish.
Use a potato ricer or food mill to mash potatoes. If using a food processor, don’t overprocess. The potatoes will become gluey.
Start potatoes boiling.
Complete dish and broil.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of “Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer.