Lenny has been asking me to make a shepherd’s pie for a few months now. This is unusual too as he hardly ever requests something. To be honest, I have never made one and it has been years since I have eaten one. I remember a shepherds pie being a bit saucy with a potato topping, nothing too exciting, instead the memory is all about comfort food. I am happy to say that this recipe for a Greek Sheperd’s Pie is definitely exciting and delicious.
I started researching Shepard’s Pie when he mentioned eating it. Most of the recipes that came up were lamb or beef based and they all had a combination of potatoes, carrots, and peas in them. For some reason, I was not in the mood for this typical pie so I kept searching.
Then I opened my March issue of Bon Appetit and found a few different comfort pies and one of them was this Shepherd’s Pie. I liked this recipe as soon as I saw the title, “Lamb and Eggplant”. I love lamb and we both love eggplant. Once I read the recipe ingredients over and saw that it had a Greek influence, I knew I found a winner!
This is a fantastic recipe. Lots of texture, flavor and pure comfort. I did substitute dried herbs with fresh. As well I had not read the recipe beforehand so I skimped on an hour of the stove top cooking time as we did not want to eat at 10 pm. It worked out fine. The lamb was ultra tender and it was still very good. I highly recommend this recipe, just allow yourself about 5 hours total time to make it. It is a good rainy day Sunday afternoon meal to prepare.
Greek Shepherd’s Pie
*adapted from Bon Appetit – made 4 servings
- 1 pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
- Coarse kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound well-trimmed boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
- All-purpose flour
- 1 cups chopped onions
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock (I used leftovers)
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cups (packed) coarsely grated kasseri cheese
Scatter eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt; let stand 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Rinse eggplant and pat very dry.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl.
Sprinkle lamb generously with coarse salt and pepper, then dust with flour to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the lamb. Sauté until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer lamb to large bowl. Repeat with 2 tablespoons oil and remaining lamb.
Add 1 additional tablespoon oil to the same pot, if needed. Add onions. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until very tender, about 10 minutes (bottom of the pot will be very dark). Add wine to pot. Increase heat and boil 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. Stir in eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 14 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter with oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add milk and bring to simmer.
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 coarse salt and pepper.
Drop potatoes over filling by heaping tablespoonfuls, covering completely.
Bake pie until filling is heated through and topping is golden about 45 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh oregano.