Lambeer. It’s my very first blog post and I’ve already begun with a portmanteau. But combining lamb and beer into a shepherd’s pie made for a rustic, hearty dish that I cannot wait to make again. Watching the steam curl and rise above the bowl (see photo below) made it difficult to photograph because it smelled so, so good and I was so, so hungry.

My first cooking blog post — hooray! After being not-so-gently prodded to finally create a blog for all my cooking creations, I finally put this site together. The blog name is a reference to cooking and to my smokin’ hot chestnut gelding, Killian. Well, at least I think he’s hot. I love cooking, riding and photography — so here I am. I’m learning a lot about the latter so don’t be surprised if random non-foodie pictures are posted.

On to the recipe. I loved this dish! After seeing this recipe in a Men’s Journal magazine a few years ago (yes, I was reading a Men’s Journal magazine for the recipes; no, I do not know who subscribed me for the magazine), my mom and I made it when I was home. Yum. After recently seeing another shepherd’s pie recipe online, I decided to combine the two recipes and ended up with a delicious, must-make-again dish.

I used ground lamb, which I highly recommend if you can find it. I bought mine from my local farmer’s market (though they do sell it at some grocery stores) and the flavor is perfect for this dish. You can substitute any other type of ground meat if you prefer.

Lambeer Shepherd’s Pie
adapted from Men’s Journal and Greedy Gourmand
serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-large onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 lb ground lamb
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dark beer (I used a dark brown ale — see the Men’s Journal article for options) or red wine
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
1 lb potatoes
1/2 cup(ish) chicken stock
1 lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup(ish) plain soymilk (or milk/cream)
2tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375˚. In a medium or large dutch oven pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga and bay leaf and cook until softened and brown, roughly 7-10 minutes. Add meat and brown, roughly 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste, combine, then add chicken stock, beer/wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring ingredients to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, roughly 20-25 minutes. Stir in peas and parsley.

While meat mixture is simmering, place potatoes in pot of salted cold water and put over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, roughly 10 minutes. Drain potatoes, place back in pot, add soymilk/milk/cream, butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Top meat mixture with potatoes, spreading until it covers the meat mixture. Place dutch oven inside oven, uncovered, until golden, roughly 10-15 minutes. Serve with a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce atop the dish. Enjoy!


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