You may find this hard to believe but I had Shepherd’s Pie for the first time ever this past year! Now that I’ve had it, I don’t know why I’ve avoided it for so long. Well, I have an idea as to why this happened, but let me give you a bit of background….
Growing up I was a VERY picky eater. I shed many tears over trying new foods or eating the veggies that my parents prepared. I spent numerous hours sitting at the dinner table staring down a plate of peas trying to figure out how to dispose of them without anyone knowing. And I still hate peas to this day. I’m also not a fan of lamb that tastes, you know, lamby…. I’m sure you can see my problem with traditional Shepherd’s pie now, right???
Fast forward to last Fall… Mark and I were flipping through some cookbooks and looking for something comfort food-ish to make for dinner. Then Mark announced with a huge smile on his face, “I got it! Let’s make Shepherd’s Pie!”
I’m sure you can imagine my reaction and lack of reciprocation of his excitement. BUT, he has made me many things before that I didn’t think I would like, and ended up loving (I will write a post on mushrooms one of these days as an example of how he has changed my perspective on certain foods). I said to him, “I’ve never had it, but let’s give it a shot if you think I will like it. Oh, but NO PEAS!”
When Mark knows I either haven’t had something before OR that I’m not a fan of some ingredient, he sees this as a challenge and gets really excited to change my mind. I could see the wheels spinning as he started looking through our pantry and spice cabinet, and dotting things down on a notepad. After a few minutes, he said, “I have a plan, and it will be awesome!” I’ve heard these words many times, and 9 out of 10 times, he is 100% correct. And it was AWESOME! So awesome in fact that we made it a few days later, and then made extra that could be frozen and made at any time!
So, here we are with this ground veal and beef Shepherd’s Pie with edamame beans in place of peas (I still got my way on the peas). He has not been able to break the relationship I have with peas yet, but I know he won’t stop trying!
I hope you give this a try whether you love or hate Shepherd’s Pie, and let us know in the comments what you think!
Veal and Beef Shepherd’s Pie
The best Shepherd’s Pie you’ll ever eat!
- 1 1/2 lb potatoes yukon gold recommended
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 2 whole carrots peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground beef 80/20 or higher
- 1 lb ground veal
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsps all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- 1 tbsp rosemary sprig remove leaves and finely chop
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme remove leaves and finely chop
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn cornels
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen edamame
Peel and dice potatoes (1/2 inch pieces). Add diced potatoes to a pot of water and bring to a boil, covered. Reduce to simmer and cook uncovered until tender (10-15 minutes). Drain water from potatoes and return potatoes to saucepan. Heat butter and half and half in microwave until warmed throughout. Mash potatoes and add warmed half and half and butter. Add salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in egg yolk. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F
While potatoes cook, prep filling. In a large pan, add canola oil over medium high heat. Add onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take color (3-4 min). Add garlic and stir to combine. Add beef and veal to brown and cook throughout. Sprinkle flour over mixture and toss to coat. Cook for another 3-4 min. Add tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes until sauce is thickened.
Add the corn and edamame beans and mix. Remove from heat and spread mixture in a 9 X 9 inch baking dish. Layer with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle paprika on top and bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.