Shepherd’s Pie with Irish Cheddar

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By Marge Perry and David Bonom

All the other Leprechauns will turn green with envy when they taste this twice-as-Irish Shepherd’s Pie. An oozing layer of melted cheese just beneath the topping makes it doubly as delicious!

Ingredients

For:  18 portions

Time

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-cup baking dish with cooking spray (if the dish is nonstick, do not use the nonstick spray).
  2. In a large saucepan combine the potatoes with enough cold water to cover by 2-inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, 16 to 18 minutes; drain, and return to the saucepan. In a small saucepan heat the milk over medium-high heat until hot. Add 6 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until the butter melts. Pour the milk mixture into the saucepan with the potatoes and mash until smooth; reserve.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground lamb and ground beef. Cook, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 9 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon and reserve. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet and return to the stove over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrots, and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the lamb and beef, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour in the broth, bring the mixture to a boil and cook until liquid is almost evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in the peas and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook 1 minute. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the filling in an even layer.
  4. Spread the potatoes in an even layer over the cheese and with make a crosshatch design on the top with the tines of a fork. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and lightly brush the potatoes.
  5. Transfer to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling and the top begins to brown, 30 to 32 minutes.

Recipe notes

Tip: For browner potatoes, broil 5-inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes.