Making this dish is easier than pie: though it's called a pie, there's not a crumb of pastry involved.
2 large baking potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound ground lamb
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons flour
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup beef stock
1 cup corn kernels (optional)
1. Put potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with water. Bring water to a boil, and cook potatoes for about 40 minutes, until cooked through. Drain potatoes and place in a bowl. Mash them with the milk and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.
2. Melt remaining butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and ground lamb and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, until lamb is well browned. Season with the remaining salt, rosemary, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and then sprinkle mixture with 2 teaspoons of the flour. Stir again and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour excess grease out of pan.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Add the onion and carrot to pan and cook over moderate heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of flour and stir. Increase heat slightly, and add the white wine and beef stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release any caramelized bits. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.
5. Add lamb mixture and corn. Stir well and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. (Enough of the liquid should have evaporated that the mixture is held together by a nice thick sauce.)
6. Butter a casserole dish well and spread lamb mixture over the bottom. Cover the lamb with the mashed potatoes and smooth the top. Bake casserole, uncovered, in the oven for 40 minutes, until heated through. Serve immediately.
Making this dish is easier than pie: though it's called a pie, there's not a crumb of pastry involved. Shepherd's pie is simply ground meat and vegetables in a sauce, with a thick topping of mashed potatoes. The whole gets browned in the oven, for a delicious example of English comfort food. Great for cold winter nights. Serve with steamed brussels sprouts and hearty bread. Serves 4