Most people think of Shepherd’s Pie and they just think a little ground beef, some peas and carrots, brown gravy, top with mashed potatoes and dinner. Well, we found this recipe for Beef and Lamb Shepherd’s Pie in the March 2016 Food Network magazine and it was incredible. The lamb and the ground beef were a good combination. Even better was the leeks that were mixed into the mashed potatoes in the topping. This is definitely worth trying! It made enough that we could even enjoy it for leftovers on a second night.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put 2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered, in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 3 leeks (halved lengthwise and sliced  1/2-inch thick) and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the leeks are soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer half of the leeks to a large bowl and set aside.

Add 1-2 pounds of ground beef and 1 pound of ground lamb to the skillet with the remaining leeks. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Pour off any excess fat from the skillet; season the meat with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Stir 2 large diced carrots, 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 tablespoon of dry thyme into the meat. Clear a space in the middle of the skillet and add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste, stirring, until slightly darkened, about 1 minute, then stir the tomato paste into the meat mixture. Pour in 3/4 cup (or the whole bottle!) of an dry Irish stout and simmer until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add 1 /2/ cups of beef broth and bring to a simmer.

Cook, stirring, until the carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of frozen peas and reduce the heat to low and let simmer while you mash the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes and let cool slightly. Transfer to the bowl with the reserved leeks; add 4 tablespoons of butter, 2/3 cup of half-and-half and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mash well. Stir in 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

Spread the meat mixture in a 3-quart baking dish. Dollop the mashed potatoes on top, then spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake until bubbling around the edges and the topping is browned in spots, about 25 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

As I said at the beginning, this was incredible! All three of us heartily recommend it…

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