Crispy Shepherd's Pie

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Here at Callie's, we're always looking for great one-pan meals. This shepherd's pie the perfect addition to our March cooking calendar. Dating back to the late 1700's-early 1800's, shepherds pie is rumored to have been created by housewives looking for new ways to use left over meat. The savory dish has lasted the test of time and has been served on everything from 18th century farmhouse tables to 21st century marble counter tops! 

This flexible dish can be served with beef or lamb and is covered in potatoes. Rather than using mashed potatoes, I love to use gratin potatoes for a little crunch and crispness on top. If you're feeling extra creative, sub the potatoes for biscuit croutons. I promise the whole family will dig in! 

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1 ½ pounds ground lamb

1 cup frozen pearl onions

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

¾ cup frozen peas

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon flour

½ cup beef broth

½ cup red wine

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon of each: rosemary, thyme, parsley; chopped

2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced paper thin

½ cup parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra parsley for garnish



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet or an oven safe skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the ground lamb to the skillet, season with salt and pepper. Cook on the stovetop for ten minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking it up as you go along.
  3. Drain meat into colander, saving the grease for a later use.
  4. In the same skillet, add one tablespoon of butter. Add the frozen pearl onions and carrots. Sauté over medium heat for 8-9 minutes. Add in the frozen peas and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the flour to the onion mixture and stir until everything is coated. Add in the remaining tablespoon of butter, beef broth, red wine and tomato paste. Stir until everything is combined and the sauce thickens. 
  6. Add the lamb back in to the skillet. Stir in the fresh herbs. Add the reserved lamb grease if mixture seems too dry. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Layer 1/3 of the paper-thin potatoes on top of the Shepherd’s Pie. Sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper on top. Repeat layers two more times.
  8. Place skillet in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven broiler on high heat and broil pie for 2 minutes or until potatoes are crisped. Watch carefully or they will burn.
  9. Carefully remove from oven. Garnish with extra chopped parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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