First of all, this isn’t cowboy pie. Shepherds herd sheep, not cows. Lamb is therefore the proper meat to go in this.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 lb ground lamb (or get regular lamb and get chopping)
3 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
2 lbs of red skinned potatoes
1 cup beef stock
1 medium can of petit-diced or crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter
¼ cup of milk
½ cup parmesan
Salt & Pepper
Peel and chop potato and boil until cooked and soft. You’re aiming for mashed potato consistency.
While potato is boiling, heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat and cook the garlic and onions until the onions become transparent. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the carrots and continue to cook until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the lamb and brown it.
Once the lamb begins to render it’s fat, add the flour and stir, then add the frozen veggies and bay leaves, again stirring until evenly distributed. Add the stock, tomato, salt and pepper.
Bring the pot up to a boil then reduce and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, at least 15 minutes (sauce should thicken and reduce).
Drain the potatoes and mash them with 3 tbsp of the butter, the milk and parmesan.
In a large flat casserole (I used a 12×12) pour the meat and veggie mixture and remove the bay leaves (very important!) then top with your mashed potatoes, spreading evenly leaving only a small gap around the sides. Melt the remaining tbsp of butter and pour on top of the potatoes.
Place the uncovered casserole in the middle of your oven under the broiler, for five minutes or until the top of the potatoes has turned a golden brown. Remove and serve.
When David’s sister was in Australia studying at the Culinary Institute, one of the big, up-and-coming cookbook authors was Donna Hay, and we received her cookbook Off the Shelf for Christmas. Our take on the recipe has evolved over time. This is another one that makes pretty frequent appearances during the winter.