Jul 21, 2014 8:05 AM

Cottage Pie aka Shepard's Pie Without Lamb

adapted from Kevin Dundon's Roasted Garlic Cottage Pie

Yes, it's July. But, the temps have been dropping into the 60's at night here in the northeast USA. And, every primary ingredient--save for celery, which may or may not be classified as primary--needed for this dish is locally abundant. So I ask you, why not make a "winter" dish in summer?

After sautéing the filling, I filled my nicest roasting-serving dish with every last morsel. Super creamy, buttery, fluffy mashed potatoes folded with ultra creamy roasted garlic (Brandmoore Farm out of Rollinsford is at the Exeter market every Thursday and her garlic is worth seeking) was then spread all over the top of the filling, and hatched with the tines of a fork. Think herringbone style and you'll have it down pat. The key is to make sure you spread your mashies all the way to the edge to seal in the filling.

A couple little pats of butter melted over the top never hurt anyone. They certainly didn't hurt this cottage pie.

With fresh thyme from the garden in the filling, a garnish of it is just deserved.

My change-ups from Chef Dundon's recipe:

  • I used grassfed beef (New Roots Farm) AND pastured pork--hot Italian style ground pork (Brasen Hill Farm's is delicious) (Traditional shepherd's pie is made with ground lamb....)
  • I opted for the red wine instead of beef stock
  • I used twice as much tomato paste and worcestershire sauce
  • I used buttermilk (Kate's) and a healthy pour of Brandmoore Farm's cream instead of plain milk, mainly because that's what I had in the fridge but also because we love the extra creamy tang in our mashed potatoes (Barker's Irish Cobblers variety, no less). And I most definitely used twice as much butter (Brookford Farm's) than called for in the recipe (and so does he because I watched him make this on his cooking show).
  • With fresh shelling peas abundant at the beginning of July (Steve Anderson from Anderson's Mini-Maples grows a good pea!), I certainly intended on using some for this dish. Growing up, we always has peas (and sometimes corn) in our "shepherd's pie" dinners. I didn't even waste time blanching them; nope, just tossed them into the filling before adding it to the casserole dish.

His is a good recipe--try it! We devoured ours, guests included.


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