By Alia Al-Chalabi

During times like this, we all need some serious comfort. And what better way to get you through self-quarantine than a comforting, home cooked meal shared with loved ones?

Shepherd’s pie is the perfect comfort food to hunker down with after you’ve been stuck sitting at home all day, and you’ll be sure to impress your family if you cook this delicious dinner to enjoy with them. 

This recipe can be prepared with either ground lamb or ground beef, and it tastes perfectly either way. 

Ingredients:

  • 8 yukon or russet potatoes
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ½ of one onion 
  • 1 pound ground lamb (or beef)
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Rosemary 
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup gruyere cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Utensils:

  • 1 large pot
  • 1 saute pan
  • 1 large pie dish

Assembly:

Start by preparing your mashed potatoes. Peel the potatoes, and then cut them into quarters before placing them into boiling water. 

Once the potatoes are soft, take them out of the pot and mash them down. Then mix them with the milk and butter, pouring the milk in slowly and stopping once the texture is thick but smooth. This technique is critical, as it will help avoid liquidy potatoes. 

If you opt to use russet potatoes instead of yukon, use a little less than half a cup of milk to avoid making mashed potatoes that are watery and loose. And be sure to add salt and pepper to taste. 

You will probably have some leftover mashed potatoes that don’t fit on the top of the pie, but don’t worry because they’re also delicious on their own. 

Before you cook the lamb, place the finely diced onion in a saute pan heated with olive oil. Once the onions are soft, combine them with garlic and then add the ground meat. 

Next come the carrots; I like to shred my carrots so they just add flavor without imposing too much of a texture. I’m not a fan of peas (traditionally used in Shepard’s pie), so I don’t include them, but feel free to throw them in along with any other vegetables you want. 

Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and then drain the fat from the pan. Then, add a little chicken broth, letting it simmer in the pan. 

Once your ingredients are done simmering, place the lamb mixture in a buttered pie dish, layering the mashed potatoes on top. Then, shred the gruyere and parmesan over the top of the potatoes for a crispy and incredibly cheesy top. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, and then let cool. Enjoy this simple and comforting recipe along with your leftover mashed potatoes!