Re-reading some old blog posts I came across the one about roast beef and the things I made from the leftovers. I was surprised to see that I did not include Shepherd's Pie! I probably should not have been surprised as this dish is made of leftover roast lamb and mashed potatoes and I was talking of beef (and I rarely serve mashed potatoes with roast beef). To make it with leftover roast beef just call it Cottage Pie and you are home free.
Yes, I know, some recipes start with raw meat and freshly made mash but my gosh, that's like cooking two meals and only getting one. The whole point is to cook once and then get as many meals as possible from the first go-round.
Remember, I only make this if I already have leftover mashed potatoes on hand - a rare enough occurrence - but they don't have to be leftover from the same meal as the roast! So if you will be cooking lamb or beef and would like to try this dish be sure to make some mashed potatoes, either with this meal or another one a day before or after, and be sure to make enough extra! You'll need about 2 cups.
Take your leftover roast beef (or lamb) and chop it (or mince it) fine. You can do this with a cleaver, a meat grinder or the food processor. I add any leftover vegetables too, whether they were originally served with the beef or not. If you don't have any you can add some frozen mixed veg, about a cup or so, and be sure to add any leftover gravy or pan juices to the mix. If you want a little zing pour in some Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, A-1 or even ketchup. Mix it all together and put it in a greased casserole just big enough to hold it and the potato topping. Season to taste.
Spoon your leftover cold mashed potatoes over the top of the "pie". You want a layer about 3/4 - 1 inch thick. Use your spoon to flick little peaks all over the surface of the mash, or use a fork to "rake" a pattern into it. Sprinkle with paprika, cayenne pepper, nutmeg or your favorite spice. If you like, you can put a few dabs of butter here and there.
Bake this in a moderately hot oven, say 350 or 375 degrees, for at least 30 - 40 minutes. You want the meat mixture to be very hot, even bubbly, and the potato topping to be golden brown. this is great served with a side of vegetables or a salad and if there is any Yorkshire Pudding leftover (don't worry, there won't be) go ahead and pop it in the oven for few minutes to heat.
Quotable Quotes; in the category Let Me Just Make A Note Of That!
"Am going to cook shepherd's pie for them all - British home cooking."
— Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary)