2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
3 TB unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups sliced carrot
1 cup diced celery
8 oz cremini, halved or quartered depending on size
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB kosher salt; divided
2 tsp dried Marjoram
1 tsp dried Mint
1/2 tsp Cardamom
A pinch of cinnamon
3 TB tomato paste
1 lb ground Lamb or Cheven
1/4 cup Cheven, Veal or Mushroom Stock (I don't know why she never used lamb stock)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 TB Fresh Italian Parsley, Chopped
4 cups left-over Mashed or Riced Potatoes
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Shredded Dubliner
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat the olive oil and 2 TB of the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, 1 tsp salt, marjoram and mint.
Cook until tender, approx 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, cardamom and cinnamon; cook until mushrooms are soft and have given up all liquid; approx 6 minutes
Stir in the ground lamb, stock, 2 tsp salt, Worcestershire, and pepper.
Break up any large lumps of meat, cook until the meat looses its pink color; 3-4 minutes.
Stir in Italian parsley.
Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish or au Gratin pan.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Leave the edges exposed so you can see the filling underneath (You can also pipe mashed potatoes using a pastry bag and a large star tip)
Sprinkle with either Pecorino Romano or Dubliner
Cut the remaining TB of butter into 4 – 6 pieces and dot the top of the potatoes.
Bake until potatoes are golden brown and the juices in the filling bubble around the edge, 35 – 45 minutes.
Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes before serving, to let it set up a little
Pairs Well With
My mom always differentiated between Shepherd's pie and cottage pie. Cottage pie had either beef, pork, veal or any combination of the three. Shepherd's pie was either sheep, goat (aka Lamb or Cheven) or any combination of the two.
Ya know, I should ask her what she calls it when it's made with chicken, duck or turkey... Poultry pie? Avian Pie? Falconer's pie? I shall have to research and find out if the French have a name for such a dish.