The theme of our recent book club meeting revolved around England and I decided to make a shepherd's pie. I had made one while still living in Indiana, but for a Rachael Ray recipe, it was rather cumbersome with nearly twenty ingredients. This time around I opted to do a little research and find a recipe that was easier. Lately, I've had much success with recipes from Epicurious so I headed over to that site for some help. The recipe for Shepherd's Pie that I selected received glowing reviews and 4 forks (as opposed to stars, Epicurious is rather clever,eh?).
The gals in my book club devoured the savory pie and proceeded to rave about it (a first since I've rejoined the group). The highlights of this savory pie are the rosemary and tomato paste. After browning the meat, onions and varrots together, I added the broth tomato paste, rosemary and parsley to simmer for about 10 minutes. Rosemary adds this "hunter" quality to the dish - woodsy, earthy, umami and the tomato paste is robust, sweet and concentrated. Both ingredients add contrast and depth to this hearty dish. The pie is topped off with buttery, creamy mashed potatoes before baking for about 30 minutes. Piping hot, this shepherd's pie screams "COMFORT FOOD" at you and spells H-E-A-R-T-Y in a variety of languages. If served along side a fresh garden salad, this meal is something you can feel good about serving family and friends.