Completely obsessed with this Chipotle Shepherds Pie recipe. It is such a perfect dish for those who are patiently waiting for spring to come when the days are starting to get warm but we still have those extremely cold nights. Also, the ground lamb in this dish tastes so good with the cilantro, mint and basil within the dish.
Chipotle Shepherds Pie:
My husband and I always like to make a few Irish dishes around St. Patrick’s day. It is a holiday that we enjoy to partake in some of the lucky Irish traditions at home. We enjoy celebrating other cultures and learning more about that culture in some way. So, over the years we have made traditional shepherds pie, bangers and mash, lovers of corned beef and of course a perfectly tempered Guinness beer.
To be completely honest, Shepherds pie is probably one of my least favorite out of all the dishes mentioned above, but my husband requested this dish this year so I decided to add my own personal touch to it. The result…we devoured it 10 minutes after it came out of the oven! We just kept standing around the island nodding our head agreeing it was pretty tasty and will be putting it in the dinner rotation.
You can cook this dish two ways, either in a cast iron skillet or in a pan and then move everything to a baking dish just before adding the mashed potatoes. Make sure the baking dish can handle high heat because you broil the potatoes in the end.
Chop your ingredients first:
This dish doesn’t take a super long time to make, but there are a lot of different components. So, I like to make sure I have all of the potatoes quartered (so they cook faster), the vegetables finely chopped, the cheese grated and the fresh herbs pre-chopped. This way you have all of the ingredients available and they are ready to throw in which makes cooking the entire dish faster.
Start the Potatoes:
First, pace the quartered potatoes in a medium pot with water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil and set to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The potatoes will be done when you can pierce them easily with a fork.
Prepare the Meet Filling:
While the potatoes are simmering, you can begin on the meat filling. In a medium cast iron skillet that has heated to medium heat, put the ground lamb that is at room temperature. Cook the lamb until there is no pink showing. Then add the chopped celery, carrots and onion. While occasionally mixing, let the meat and veggies cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add the herbs and let cook for another minute. Smell all of the beautiful flavors melding together in the cast iron skillet! Everyone will be joining you in the kitchen at this point. Finally, add the chipotle sauce to give it that kick and let cook for an additional minute.
Next all of those juices in the cast iron skillet need to be made into a gravy. Move all the ingredients to one side of the skillet and slowly add flour to the liquid removing any clumps until you get a desired thick gravy. Finally, add the beef broth a little at a time while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes. The filling can then be set aside to while the potatoes are finished.
Finish the Potatoes:
The potatoes should now be finished. Drain the water, add butter and the cheese and mash until it looks like mashed potatoes. You can either use a fork if you want a bit of a work out or you can use a potato masher.
Finish the Shepard’s Pie:
Once the potatoes have cooled enough, load them into a ziplock bag and snip the corner so that you can pipe the potatoes. Move the top rack of the oven 5 to 8 inches from the broiler and turn on. Pipe the potatoes covering the entire cast iron skillet. Then take a spoon and smooth out any ridges or imperfections from the piping. In case of overflowing during cooking, put the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet and place under the broiler. Bake for 5 minutes until the top gets a nice golden brown.
Finally, the Shepard’s pie should rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
The two main ingredients that truly make this dish shine are this aged Irish cheddar in the potatoes and the chipotle sauce in the meat. So GOOD!
The cheese hidden in the mashed potatoes helps get an amazing crispy crust on top when you broil the dish at the end. That crust is everything!
Finally, you can enjoy as is or take it a step further like I did. Add fresh cilantro, queso fresco and drizzle with Cholula hot sauce. That vinegar taste from the hot sauce just adds so much to the pie in my opinion and I just love it.