Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sheperd's Pie with Lamb and Eggplant

8-10 servings

Here is a great recipe from Bon Appetit's contributing editor Jeanne Thiel Kelley of Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes. It is rich and wonderful and will make any Englishman pull up a chair!

  • 1 1/2 pounds of eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher Salt
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder, well-trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • All-purpose flour
  • 3 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups (packed) kasseri cheese, coarsely grated
  1. Lay eggplant in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Let stand 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Rinse eggplant and pat very dry.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and saute until tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
  3. Sprinkle lamb generously with Kosher salt and pepper, then dust with flour to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Saute lamb in single layer until brown, about 8 minutes. Repeat process until all lamb is cooked.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon additional oil to same pot, if needed. Add onions. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until very tender, about 10 minutes (bottom of pot will be very dark). Add wine to pot and deglaze on high heat until wine evaporates, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, broth, garlic, and oregano and bring to boil. Add lamb with any accumulated juices. Cover; reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour. Uncover and continue to simmer until lamb is very tender and gravy thickens slightly, about 45 minutes. Stir in eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to desired size glass baking dish, 13x9x2-inch works well.
DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and chill.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 14 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter with oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add milk and bring to simmer.
  4. Drain potatoes. Return to pot. Stir over medium heat until excess moisture evaporates. Add milk mixture and mash potatoes until just smooth. Stir in cheese. Season with Kosher salt and pepper.
  5. Drop potatoes over filling by heaping tablespoonfuls, covering completely.
  6. Bake until filling is heated through and topping is golden, about 45 minutes.
* Kasseri cheese is a firm white cheese made from sheep's milk; available at many supermarkets and at Greek markets and some Italian markets.

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