Recipes from the Butcher
January 22, 2019
It’s National Pie Day tomorrow, so why not celebrate with a homemade Shepherd’s Pie?
Our ECB recipe for Shepherd’s pie includes a rendered fat pie crust recipe that can be used with any pie, tart, or dessert calling for a perfectly flaky crust. While you can use any fat to achieve a nose to tail meal, using the fat of the animal you’ll be creating the filling with adds an extra bit of authenticity that ties the whole dish together.
The crust is a vitally important part of any meat pie. You want to create a dough that is dry enough to hold up to to the juiciness of the meat and vegetables, but flaky enough to provide additional texture to the dish. Keeping your fats chilled will allow them to melt just when the flour is setting, creating pockets & creases between the layers of the dough.
Our “Mashed” Potatoes recipe calls for the use of a tamis. This is a great kitchen tool with a variety of uses, but for our purposes in this recipe, it will be used to created a fine, silky texture to your potatoes without over whipping them. The even texture will also allow them to brown & crust evenly when baking with the rest of the dish.
When it comes to your filling, there’s no wrong path to follow. So long as you pay attention to the relative cooking times of each ingredient you wish to include, you can add just about anything to a meat pie. Our favorite is the traditional ground lamb that gives the dish its name. Try experimenting with ground meat mixtures or try ribeye trim or stew beef.
Perfect Pie Crust Ingredients:
4 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
4 tbsp rendered Lamb Fat ($4), chilled
1 cup all-purpose flour (extra for rolling the dough)
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 cup ice water, in spray bottle
Dried beans, for blind baking
- Place butter & fat in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from freezer & cut or grate into small pieces.
- Combine flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy. Add lard & pulse another 3 to 4 times. Remove lid & spritz surface of mixture thoroughly with water. Replace lid & pulse 5 times. Continue until mixture holds together when squeezed. Form into a disc & place in a freezer bag in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place a metal pie pan in the refrigerator to chill.
- Remove dough from refrigerator & freezer bag. Flour your rolling surface, rolling pin, & both sides of the dough. Roll out to a 10 to 11-inch circle. Roll dough & press into a chilled pie pan, trimming edges if necessary. Poke holes in dough and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper on top of dough and fill with dry beans. Press beans into edges of dough and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove parchment and beans and continue baking until golden in color, approximately 10. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely before filling.
ECB’s Mashed Potatoes Ingredients:
1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cut into 1.5″ pieces
3 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces & at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tbsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Place potatoes in a large pot & cover with cold water. Place over high heat & cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Drain potatoes & lay out on a sheet pan to allow moisture to evaporate.
- While potatoes are cooling, warm cream in a saucepan over the low heat.
- Using gloves, pass the warm potatoes & your butter through a tamis into a bowl.
- Transfer the mixture back the pot the potatoes cooked in (cooking water removed) & slowly mix in heated cream.
- Gently fold & mix the potatoes until desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt & hold to add to Shepherd’s Pie.
Meat Filling Ingredients:
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds Emigh Lamb, ground
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp tomato paste
1 cup ECB bone broth of your choice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp freshly chopped herbs
1 cup vegetables cut to 1/4″ or smaller veggies (peas, corn, etc.)
- Bring the oven down to 400 degrees F.
- Place oil into a 12-inch saute pan over medium high heat. When the oil shimmers, add carrots & onion, cooking until they just begin to colo, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add garlic & stir.
- Add the lamb, salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes, until browned & cooked.
- Sprinkle the flour & toss to coat. Cook for another minute.
- Add tomato paste, broth, Worcestershire, herbs. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover & simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Add the vegetables to the lamb mixture & spread filling evenly into your par baked pie crust.
- Starting at the edges to create a seal, spread mashed potatoes completely over lamb mixture. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.
- Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Reserve your Ingredients for Pickup: (714) 474-9096 or By Email
At Electric City Butcher, we are proud to work with the best practices of stewardship and holistic living by delivering you the most responsibly sourced, sustainable meat and products available. Starting with premium ingredients is what we do at Electric City Butcher and it’s what our customers appreciate most about our whole-animal butchery. We look forward to helping you with cut selection and preparation as well as the best sides, rubs, or compliments to our quality butcher products. Come visit our butcher shop in Orange County, Santa Ana Tuesday thru Friday 11am – 7pm or Saturday and Sunday 10am – 6pm or give us a call at (714) 474-9096 to experience all we have to offer!
And don’t forget to sign up for our Electric City Butcher Newsletter to have these great tips and information delivered directly to your inbox every week!