Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Baked Potatoes

For almost a decade I was the general manager of a bar here in NYC.

It was a pub--casual, relaxed, the kind of place that welcomed you as much on a Saturday night as it did on a Tuesday afternoon.

I had a bartending staff of all females; I hired only the coolest, weirdest, most perfect girls that I inevitably befriended because they were just that awesome.

But it wasn’t all slinging drinks and smiles; there were nights full of stupid fights amongst the customers, kegs exploding, pipes bursting, and of course, there were always small fires to extinguish among the staff.

When the dust would settle, sometimes you just had to walk away for a minute.

Luckily there was a classic, old-school Irish pub right next door that provided refuge to all those who need a minute...or 50.

It greeted you with sawdust floors, pints of Guinness, and the smell of authentic shepherd’s pie.

I was first introduced to shepherd’s pie there and though it was a perfect ode to the classic recipe, I have always secretly thought it could be better.

Imagine a shepherd’s pie infused with as many veggies as it is meat--like beets and carrots and mushrooms. Now take that decadent mixture, stuff it into the crispy skin of a baked potato, then top it with mashed potatoes.

Its shepherd’s pie on steroids and it’s ready to take the stress out of any day.   

Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Baked Potatoes

servings: 6; makes 6 potato halves

Shepherd's Pie Stuffing:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 small white onion (½ cup), coarsely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled + coarsely chopped
  • 2 small beets, peeled + coarsely chopped
  • ½ pound baby portabella mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½ cup frozen peas

Twice Baked Potatoes:

  • 3 medium Idaho potatoes (about ½ pound each; 1½ pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 egg yolk

Shepherd's Pie Stuffing:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground lamb and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Stirring constantly, break up the meat, cooking until it has browned and is no longer pink--about 5 minutes. Then transfer the lamb to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Next, place the onion and carrot in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. Then transfer them to a medium bowl and set aside. Repeat this process with the beets and the mushrooms and place them together in a separate medium bowl.
  3. Heat the oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the carrot and onion and cook until soft and slightly translucent--3 to 5 minutes. Add the beet, mushrooms, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook until the vegetables are tender but not mushy--5 minutes more.
  4. Return the lamb to the pan containing the vegetables. Then add the flour and stir until it is fully incorporated. Cook this mixture until it is slightly thickened--about 2 minutes. Stir in the rosemary, Worcestershire, tomato paste, thyme, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, then cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and continue to cook until the mixture thickens--about 3 minutes more. Stir in the frozen peas and remove from the heat.
  5. Spoon ½ cup of the lamb mixture into the hollow of each potato, then top with ¼ cup of the mashed potatoes, and finish with a sprinkle of the parmesan cheese.
  6. Turn on the broiler, to high if you have that option. Place the baking sheet under the broiler until the tops of each shepherd's pie are slightly browned and the cheese has melted--3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer each potato half to individual plates and serve immediately.

Twice Baked Potatoes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Use a fork to lightly prick the potatoes, then rub them generously with the olive oil and sprinkle them evenly with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until the potatoes are cooked through--about 1 hour.
  2. When the potatoes are finished baking, remove them from the oven and cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop the insides out into a mixing bowl, being careful not to break the shell and leaving a small rim of the potato intact for support. Place the hollowed-out potato shells on a baking sheet.
  3. Add the cream, butter, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt to the bowl containing the potatoes. Stir until thoroughly combined, then set aside.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking

 

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