shepherd’s pie revisited

i have been pondering shepherd’s pie lately, and finally started looking at recipes online. i had made this dish some time ago for my family, but the cinnamon with the meat was a definite turnoff in our non-british household. after looking at several recipes, i realized that cinnamon is not vogue in today’s pies .  i ended up combining these two recipes 1 and 2:

1 diced onion

2 lbs. of lean ground lamb (i used ham that i minced since i have a lot in my freezer)

3-4 large diced carrots

1 cup peas (i used half corn)

salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (i dashed some italian seasoning in too)

1 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (add more if you prefer)

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon tomato paste

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 glass red wine (or a little less unless you have time to cook it off)

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce

2 1/2 lbs. yukon potatoes (other recipes called for cream cheese or irish cheese for potatoes)

1 egg

parmesan cheese (optional)

pre-heat oven to 400°F. sauté carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender. add in the onions and sauté for a minute or two then add the meat. season with black pepper and spices. cook until browned then drain fat. add the butter and peas. sprinkle with flour and stir through. add tomato paste, wine and worcestershire sauce. reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. season to your taste. remove from heat. grease an oven proof dish with butter and add the sauce (i just put the potatoes over my sauce/veggies that i had cooked in a dutch oven). spoon mashed potatoes over top. brush with egg (i added egg to potato mixture) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if using. bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top.

forgot to make my sister’s irish soda bread to go with this 😦

preparing the potatoes

preparing the potatoes

sporting grandma aprons from christmas

sporting grandma aprons from christmas

creepy denture ice-cubes from the denture ice-cube tray that was opened at the redeemer christmas party

creepy denture ice-cube from the denture ice-cube tray that was opened at the redeemer christmas party

sautéing carrots

sautéing carrots

the gravy thickening

the gravy thickening

the end product :) with the gravy seeping over the edges!

the end product 🙂 with the gravy seeping over the edges!



a portrait of a man: james harris


i love my father in law. i love his contagious smile and laugh. i love how his behavior and the small nuances in his expressions reflect so much of my own husband and help me appreciate matt all the more. i love his listening spirit and how that paves the way for others to listen more closely when he speaks. i hope to someday be more like him: generous with time and money, serving without question, constantly seeking the Bible and prayer and trying to love well all who are near.




dpp numero veintiuno

the seafood table my parents prepared for us--thanks grandpa!

the seafood table my parents prepared for us–thanks grandpa!



warmth and merriment.

girls screaming in delight.

my brain is gone

after driving

so long

accident after accident

ice all over



stopping on exits

to hammer ice off


so thankful to be here.

in nebraska.