January is Casserole Season!

If it’s January, then it’s time for warming casseroles that are both flavorful and easy-to-prepare; Cottage Pie is one of those dishes! In a land where sheep were traditionally a primary food supply, it’s not surprising that lamb is the foundation for many farmhouse dishes. However, this dish is equally good with ground beef or turkey. Cottage Pie, a long-time family favorite, was originally created as an economical way to use leftover lamb and was always a favorite with farmers. This meat and vegetable pie is topped with a crust of mashed potatoes flavored with Kerrygold’s Cheddar or Dubliner cheese. 

Cottage Pie with Cheddar Crust

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Topping

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup shredded Kerrygold Cheddar or Dubliner cheese

 In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Working in batches, cook lamb for 5 to 7 minutes per batch, or until meat is browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a large bowl and reserve; discard fat. Melt butter in same skillet. Add onion, garlic, and carrots and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, and flour, and then stir in broth, thyme, and parsley, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Return lamb to skillet. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch baking dish or individual casserole dishes with cooking oil spray. Spoon the mixture into prepared dish(s).In a medium bowl, stir together mashed potatoes and half the cheese. Spread or pipe over meat mixture, dot with butter, and sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top is browned and mixture is bubbling. Serve immediately.

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