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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shepherd's pie is easy, delicious

By Linda Gassenheimer
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Shepherd's pie is a trendy treat on many restaurant menus. This traditional British pub dish is made with lamb, vegetables and sauce, and topped with mashed potatoes and cheese.

This is a one-dish meal that usually cooks slowly in the oven. I've shortened the time by sauteeing the meat and vegetables in a skillet, cooking the potatoes in a microwave oven and placing the dish under the broiler for a few minutes. If you don't care for lamb, beef, veal or pork can be used.

This dinner is easy to make and freezes well. If you have time, double the recipe and save half for another quick meal.

The best lamb for this recipe is cubes cut from the leg. Lamb kabobs are cut from either the leg or shoulder. Either will work well. I like to use frozen diced onions and shredded or matchstick carrots, found in the produce section, to save prep time. In this dish, they work very well.

Serve this as a one-dish meal or add sliced tomatoes.

This meal contains 530 calories, with 32 percent of calories from fat.

Helpful hints:

• Lamb stew meat can be used. Remove as much fat as possible before cooking and cook the dish 5 minutes longer.

•  If you use freshly diced onion, saute it a few minutes longer.

•  Use a pan that can go from stove top to broiler. If you don't have one, use a skillet with a heat-resistant handle and place under broiler.

•  Use a potato ricer or food mill to mash potatoes.

• This dish can be made with leftover cooked meat. Add it as shown after the ingredients have blended and reduce cooking time to 5 minutes.


• 1/2 pound red potatoes

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the filling:

• 1 cup frozen diced onion or 1 cup chopped onion

• 1 cup shredded carrots

• 1 cup fat-free, low-salt chicken broth, divided use

• 1/2 pound lamb kabob, fat removed, cut into 1-inch cubes

• 1 tablespoon flour

• 2 tablespoons tomato paste

• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

• 2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat broiler. Wash potatoes, do not peel, and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 5 minutes. Potatoes should be soft. Mash with a potato ricer, sieve or in a food processor.

Mix with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat a nonstick skillet with a heat-resistant handle or stove-top-to-oven casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and 1 tablespoon chicken broth. Saute a few seconds. Add lamb and saute, 5 minutes, turning lamb over a few times. Sprinkle flour on top and add the remaining chicken broth, tomato paste and rosemary. (If you are using leftover meat, add it at this point.) Simmer 5 minutes until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle with cheese. Place under boiler 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Spoon onto 2 dinner plates. Makes 2 servings.

• Per serving: 670 calories, 51 g protein, 60 g carbohydrate, 25 g fat, 34 percent of calories as fat, 8.5 g fiber, 136 mg cholesterol, 439 mg sodium.