Shepherd's Pie from

Shepherd's Pie from An Echo in the Bone

He passed the Free North Church and half-smiled at it, thinking of Mrs. Ogilvy and Mrs. MacNeil.  They'd be back, he knew, if he didn't do something about it.  He knew their brand of determined kindliness.  Dear God, if they heard that Bree had gone to work and -- to their way of thinking -- abandoned him with two small children, they'd be running shepherd's pies and hot stovies out to him in relays.  That mightn't be such a bad thing, he thought, meditatively licking his lips -- save that they'd stay to poke their noses into the workings of his household, and letting them into Brianna's kitchen would be not merely playing with dynamite but deliberately throwing a bottle of nitroglycerin into the midst of his marriage.

"Catholics don't believe in divorce," Bree had informed him once.  "We do believe in murder.  There's always Confession, after all."

An Echo in the Bone (Chapter 16 - Unarmed Conflict)

Is it just me, or is Roger perpetually navigating his way through one potential disaster or another?  It seems the time bomb in question always involves Bree, at least one other woman and some question of Roger's manhood...no matter what century they're in.

It's no wonder the Church ladies want to make him a meal or two...all that worrying can take the weight off a man!

And nothing quiets a growling wame faster than a hearty Shepherd's Pie.

yolks-shepherd's pie

Gordon Ramsay.  Hmphmmm.  While he may not be everyone's favourite Scot, he is a Chef, and he makes pretty much the best Shepherd's Pie I've ever tasted.  Gordo's French culinary training has transformed this Scottish basic into something spectacular.

His addition of red wine is definitely French, as is the tomato paste, which both add colour and flavour to the lamb.  But the biggest difference is in the potatoes that top his Shepherd's Pie -- this isn't any old mash -- instead, Gordon uses Duchesse potatoes:  made golden with yolks, rich with butter, cheesy with Parmesan and crisp and light due to the lack of milk or cream.

However, like most Chefs with several human and mechanical dishwashers at his disposal, Mr. Ramsay takes too many steps and uses too many pots and pans.  My version simplifies things a bit and gets rid of a few dishes.

shepherd's pie

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16 Apr 2012 - 10:43am

Lesley


Hi TheresanShepherds/cottage pie is one of our weekly favourites here. I always throw in loads of grated veg, including courgettes, peppers, always the carrots and onions, sometimes red lentils as well. I've not tried the red wine though and that duchesse potatoe topping looks great.nI will be trying your version this week.n:-)

Theresa


Love the red lentil idea, Lesley! They melt down nicely and would add really heartiness. I think I'll try that next! :)

16 Apr 2012 - 11:20am

Kathy C


Looks wonderful. I was wondering what to make for supper tonight and I think I've found the answer.

16 Apr 2012 - 3:08pm

Ms. Aaron Brown


I just read that part, Poor, Poor Roger, he cant seem to catch a brake. I hope he gets it together before Bree gets ahold of him. This looks yummy and will give it a try.

Theresa


Enjoy Echo, Aaron! You'll join the rest of us in the waiting section soon enough. :/

16 Apr 2012 - 3:08pm

sinkitty

looks delish!

16 Apr 2012 - 3:09pm

The Mom Chef


Chefs do seem to like to muck up the kitchen with lots of extra pots and pans. I'll bet if they had to clean up after themselves once in a while, that would stop. We also love shepherd's pie in this house, though we are paupers and have to make it with ground beef, not lamb. I like the idea of incorporating the carrot in with the meat, though I'd do a fine chop so Dudette doesn't realize what's going on. It looks divine.nn(My personal opinion is that Bree wasn't spanked enough as a child and Roger put up with an awful lot he shouldn't have.)

Lindsey


Rog should give her a spanking every now and then, I think. Do them both some good. ;)

Theresa

Jenny and Ian would certainly agree, Lindsey...

16 Apr 2012 - 4:43pm

StrikesMyHeart


I'll be cooking this meal Tuesday night along with some homemade bread. Was planning on a honey French bread but will have to look at your past posts to see if anything catches my eye.

Theresa


Here's a recipe for Honey Buttermilk Oatbread from Madame Jeanne's that's proved quite popular...http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/01/23/oatbread-at-madame-jeannes-from-voyager/

16 Apr 2012 - 5:22pm

bullrem


Not sure I will try this.....!! What is the long drawn out challenge here.... ???n haa haanHelen in Ark.

Theresa


No...this is much less experimental and a whole lot easier than Salt Rising Bread...I'll give you that!

16 Apr 2012 - 6:59pm

lionartcreation

YUM! And you've paired it with my favorite beer!

16 Apr 2012 - 8:44pm

Kiri W.


Now that looks like the perfect pie - the filling looks so rich and just... I want one now. Well done!

Theresa


Go make one, Kiri! You're quite the cook yourself, after all... :)

16 Apr 2012 - 8:48pm

dearli13


that looks delicious!!! i love the backstories and photos you include with each recipe.

Theresa

Thanks so much, dearli! I love what I'm doing...

17 Apr 2012 - 12:24am

Donna R.


That's definitely going on my list of things to make. I hope I can get some ground lamb at a decent price! It looks absolutely delicious Theresa!!!

Theresa


Finding affordable lamb is a problem I didn't even think of! :/ Ground beef is good too, though!

17 Apr 2012 - 1:59am

Lindsey


I just want everyone to know that this is freaking delicious! Thanks, Theresa!

17 Apr 2012 - 2:48am

Charlene


I love Shepard's pie, I make it quite often, but I use ground beef instead.

Theresa


That's great, Charlene! Technically, a pie with ground beef is called a cottage pie, as I put in the notes below the recipe. :)

17 Apr 2012 - 12:39pm

Karin Thomas


I will try the your variation of the potato topping - I have always just used mashed and then top with shredded cheddar, because that's usually around in my fridge. It sounds like a delicious variation! Never tried the garlic, but I use a sweet onion and peas along with the red wine and tomato paste, and I use ground beef, lamb is reserved "special" days - it's so very expensive (but oh so good!) I know what I'm making for dinner tonight!

17 Apr 2012 - 12:39pm

Karin Thomas


I will try the variation of the potato topping - I have always just used mashed and then top with shredded cheddar, because that's usually around in my fridge. It sounds like a delicious variation! Never tried the garlic, but I use a sweet onion and peas along with the red wine and tomato paste, and I use ground beef, lamb is reserved "special" days - it's so very expensive (but oh so good!) I know what I'm making for dinner tonight!

Theresa


Let me know how you like the potatoes done this way, Karin! Such a shame that ground lamb is so expensive...I'm lucky. We have a local supply of lamb here on our little island. :)

24 Apr 2012 - 5:44pm

ruaTimeTraveler2


I'm so making this!!! Better yet I will get my friend Sandy to make it!!!

24 Apr 2012 - 7:48pm

Judi Nadreau


I wonder where the Shepherd's Pie creation I grew up with in my area originated from. It is made with a layer of ground beef, a layer of cream corn, and a layer of mashed potatoes. Of course they are all cooked with their own spices and additions. Your recipe sounds delicious!

Theresa


Your regional variation sounds delicious, Judi, and very similar to the one my mom made in my childhood.

14 Jun 2012 - 9:02pm

Julie


Wouldn't you know it, smack in the middle of making this I discover I'm out of tomato paste!! Are you kidding? Well, I had to carry on without it, or, put out cereal and bowls. It was delicious and I'm looking forward to making it again, WITH tomato paste. LOL. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

Theresa


Great news, Julie! Glad you went on with it...recipes are just guidelines, after all! :)

02 Oct 2012 - 7:29pm

Murphys Beef …


Shepherd's Pie from An Echo in the Bone

31 Oct 2012 - 11:49pm

Debbie Michaels


I make a version of this, and use whatever I have handy for the meat: ground chicken, turkey, lamb or beef. I vary the vegetables, again depending on what I have handy, and every pie is different & absolutely delicious! I think the chicken version is my favorite just now!

11 Feb 2013 - 12:29am

Elaine


What is the purpose of 3 egg yolks in the mashed potatoes? Cream, sour cream, or milk I can understand. Never heard of putting egg yolks in mashed potatoes and I was taught to cook by 2 country cooks.

Theresa


Adding eggs is another way of incorporating richness into the mashed potatoes. As I explained in the post, this is an updated version of Shepherd's Pie, using techniques that our mothers probably didn't use. The addition of yolks to mashed potatoes is a French technique that results in light, fluffy potatoes that crisp nicely on top in the oven. Delicious! nnI've been cooking my whole life, taught by cooks and chefs of all sorts, and I'm happy to say that my food ramblings and research leads me to learn something new about cooking almost everyday. New and different food is a good thing.

09 Jul 2014 - 12:01pm

Starz Outland…


Shepherds Pie may be a safer choice, and OKs version always gets high praise from fans. Its a shepherds pie if you use lamb, or a cottage pie if you use beef. Either way, its verra yummy.

05 Aug 2014 - 5:34am

Jennifer


Teresa, what size dish do you recommend baking it in if not splitting between loaf pans? I'm making this for the Outlander premiere on Sat. Thanks!

Theresa


A 10 or 11 inch round dish or a 13x9 inch pan is perfect...just make sure it's at least 2 inches deep.

06 Aug 2014 - 2:25pm

Theresa


I wouldn't freeze this, but you can make it up to 3 days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Enjoy!

06 Aug 2014 - 2:26pm

Theresa

Have fun choosing! And enjoy the premiere. :)

06 Aug 2014 - 2:26pm

Theresa

Have fun choosing! And enjoy the premiere. :)

06 Aug 2014 - 8:48pm

Jessica

Love it! Do you bake and then freeze?

Theresa


No need to bake it before freezing. Defrost in the fridge overnight.

11 Aug 2014 - 10:51pm

Joanna


I just made this tonight and WOW. Delicious! We all loved this recipe even my picky daughter! I did add a shredded four cheese blend to the potatoes and on top as well and left out the wine and mushrooms. Lovely. Simple lovely.

25 Jun 2015 - 12:13am

Katherine


My husband and I liked this so much! He ate half a full batch by himself.

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