What's this? It's time for a potluck and it's not Madhur Jaffrey? No, it's Nigel Slater this time around. I've really been cooking a lot from his books of late. A few days ago, I made (for the second time) Slow-Roast Lamb from The Kitchen Diaries. Since then we've been eating bits of lamb and there's at least one more meal in the freezer. Meanwhile we used a goodly portion of the leg for Shepherd's Pie with Spiced Parsnip Mash from Real Cooking (p119).
This is a nice variation on a plain shepherd's pie. The topping is parsnips (there were some leftover potatoes, too) mashed with sautéed onions and warm spices—ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, butter, salt, and pepper.
For the filling, chopped leeks and carrots are slowly sautéed in drippings or butter. Sliced mushrooms are added, followed by chopped lamb. (You could, of course, use raw ground lamb, but a shepherd's pie is traditionally made with leftovers.) When the lamb is cooked and bits of brown appear, stir in some flour and a bit of tomato purée. Add stock (a bit of leftover sauce from the lamb roast was supplemented with chicken stock from the freezer), a bay leaf, and some sprigs of thyme if you've got it. Simmer for a good long while. ("The mixture should not really bubble, just occasionally 'bloop' at you'," writes Slater.) Somewhere along the way, season with salt and pepper, and a tablespoon or so of Worcestershire sauce.
Pour the meat mixture into a casserole, spoon the topping over it all, and bake the top is golden and browning on the peaks.
This recipe is supposed to serve four generously. Three of us ate it all. Very more-ish it was. Even though we had a starter, we still ate it all. The sweetish parsnips made a good topping, but sweet potatoes might work just as well.
Visit this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs to see what other folks are making for their potluck meal.