We are experiencing unseasonably warm weather around here.
It downright has felt like summer the past couple of days. Little was out in short and a t-shirt this morning at my parents house. And no shoes. It is THAT warm.
I will admit that as Oregonians we think 70 is balmy. I feel like I need to get my strawberry picking and jam making done. However that is still months off. Months. My summer fruit radar is craving local blueberries but all the plants still only have buds. I feel thoroughly confused.
It is so bizarre for it to be this warm and sunny right now. Oh don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. Just remarking. I’ll take sunshine any day.
This warm weather made my plan to make shepherd’s pie feel a bit off. This is a meal that comfort food at its core and begs to be eaten on a cold rainy night. Except when we had it for dinner we had the windows open and it was still sunny out. Have I mentioned I love how late it stays light out right now? All around bliss. Even if we were eating dead of winter food on what felt like the middle of the summer.
This recipe is super simple. If you don’t care for lamb it is ok sub ground beef but I urge to splurge and use lamb. It so good. If you do things right while making this you can dirty only two pots (one for the potatoes one for the filling) and one casserole dish. Wash up the pots once you throw the dish in the oven and you get to sit down to eat dinner with a clean kitchen. This has to be my absolutely favorite part of making casseroles- sitting down to eat dinner with no pots and pans staring at you while you try to enjoy your meal.
On a positive note turning on the oven on such a warm day wasn’t a big deal because we are still reaching freezing temps at night.
Now I can’t wait to start eating outside.
Shepherd’s pie (serves 6)
Adapted from Alton Brown
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperFor the meat filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground lamb
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen English peas
Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread evenly into an baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Place under the broiler for a minute or two to really get some color. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.