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Prep 45 mins
Cook 2 hrs
I'll be surprised if this isn't the best shepherd's pie you've ever eaten! This recipe is adapted from the New American Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta, Georgia. I would like to point out that the chef at the Tavern likes to clarify that in England this would be called cottage pie because it is made with beef, not mutton (lamb) - "thus the need for the shepherd." Most Americans are more familiar with the name, shepherd's pie. No matter what you call it, this pie is something special ...chuck roast slow-cooked until it's falling apart tender with delicious vegetables and herbs, topped with garlic mashed potatoes. It smells so heavenly while it's cooking that I guarantee your family (and friends and neighbors) will gather around the oven waiting for you to serve it. Although, this shepherd's pie is fairly easy to prepare, make it on a day that you have some extra time, since it is a little time consuming...but, Oh, So Well Worth It!!!!!!
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 cups diced onions
- 2 -3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise and then across into 1-inch chunks
- 1⁄2 bunch fresh celery, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1⁄4 lbs beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2⁄3 cup white wine, divided
- 1 cup canned low sodium chicken broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced and divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced and divided
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
FOR THE TOPPING
- 2 1⁄2 lbs russet potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
- 1⁄4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In an ovenproof Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and swirl to cover the pan. Sprinkle the beef pieces with salt and pepper. When the oil is shimmering, but not smoking, add half the beef and brown on all sides, then add the beef to the Dutch oven with the vegetables. Pour 1/3 cup of the white wine into the skillet and cook over high heat until it reduces by half, scraping up any of the browned bits left by the beef. Pour the reduction into the Dutch oven. Repeat the browning process with the oil and beef, and repeat the wine reduction, adding both to the Dutch oven.
- Pour 3/4 cup of the chicken broth and the Worcestershire sauce into the Dutch oven, and add half of the minced thyme and half the minced rosemary, reserving the remaining chicken broth and herbs. Stir the beef mixture well and bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Once the beef is simmering, cover the Dutch oven and put it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
- While the beef is cooking, start the potatoes. Boil the whole potatoes in plenty of water until the are easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Pour off the water and let the potatoes sit, off the heat, until they are cool enough to handle. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the 6 cloves of minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Press the potatoes through a potato ricer, or peel and mash them by hand. Pour in the melted garlic butter, and beat the potatoes until they are light and fluffy. Cover and keep warm.
- After 1 1/2 hours in the oven, check the beef for tenderness - it should be just about falling apart. Stir the cornstarch into the reserved 1/4 cup of chicken broth and stir the mixture into the hot beef. Stir in the remaining minced rosemary and thyme. and continue stirring until the mixture has thickened.
- Pour the beef mixture into a 9-x13-inch baking dish . Spread the mashed potatoes over the top, return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.