Shepherd’s pie is a lamb pie with a mashed potato crust. It originated in the UK and Ireland in 1791 as “cottage pie.” The term “shepherd’s pie” didn’t appear until 1877. The theory behind the name is shepherds caring for sheep. It’s a wonderful comfort food. I have used less meat and more vegetables to the traditional recipes to add more nutrition to it.
Rutabaga is a crucifer that is high in antioxidants and other nutrients that protect the body from cancer and heart disease. Its most significant nutrient is vitamin C. It is beta-carotene-rich and also an excellent source of potassium and manganese, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Celery root is another cancer and heart disease fighter, an excellent source of riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins, A, B6, C and K. Both rutabagas and celery root have fiber which is good for your digestive system.
- 3 medium sized russet or yukon gold potatoes (or half potatoes and half celery root)
- 4 tablespoons butter (grass fed – Kerrygold brand), divided
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 3/4 cup diced rutabaga (Some rutabaga can be tough and woody. If you have one that is difficult to cut, you should replace it because it’s not going to get tender no matter how long you let it cook.)
- 3/4 cup diced carrots
- kernels cut off one ear of corn
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/3 cup peas
- 1/3 cup grated gruyere cheese
Cook lamb and add the Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, thyme, rosemary, rice flour and beef broth, and set aside. Saute onion, rutabaga, carrots and corn in 2 tablespoons butter for 5 minutes. Add the meat mixture, cover, turn down heat and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in peas. Peel potatoes and cut into 2 to 3 inch chunks and boil until tender (if using half celery root, peel and cut into 1 inch pieces). Saute garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter for one minute and pour over potatoes and celery root. Whip until smooth, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rutabagas are more fibrous. If you are using them, blend the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Spoon the meat mixture into a 9″x 9″ casserole. Spread mashed potato mixture on top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until hot and golden brown. You can broil it at the end of the cooking time to have a delicious crusty top.
Fresh rosemary and thyme can be stored in the freezer so that you have them available all the time and don’t have to keep buying a new box that goes bad in the refrigerator. You can remove the leaves from the stems and place them in plastic bags or if you have a lot, you can put them in the resealable bags while they are still on the stem and after a few weeks, take them out and run a rolling pin over them and the leaves will fall off the stems very easily and you can store them in a jar.