With the weather getting cooler, it was the perfect time to make Shepherd's Pie. I used the recipe below from Cooks Country. It turned out great, but I must admit that I used pre-made mashed potatoes (shhhh, don't tell).
Cook's Country Shepherd's Pie
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 medium carrots , peeled and chopped fine
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
Table salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup beer
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 cup frozen peas
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes. peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup heavy cream, warmed
Ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
1. For the filling: Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat until foaming. Add onion and carrots and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add meat, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up meat into small pieces with wooden spoon, until browned, about 12 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste and cook until paste begins to darken, about 1 minute.
2. Add cream and cook until it spatters, about 1 minute. Add broth, beer, soy sauce, and thyme and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick but still saucy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in peas, adjust seasonings, and transfer to broilersafe 2-quart casserole dish.
3. For the topping: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and water to cover to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, return to saucepan, and mash potatoes with butter and cream until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Spread potatoes over filling, using spatula to smooth top (see photo at left). Brush with egg and drag fork across top to make ridges. Bake until filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Turn on broiler and cook until top is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Serve.