Shepherd’s Pie with Bacon, Beef and Horseradish Blue Cheese Potatoes
- For the topping:
- 2 pounds beef from shank or chuck or lamb from shank or shoulder (from the butcher), hand trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- 6 slices smoky thick-cut bacon, diced
- Salt and coarse black pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 small ribs celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- Bundle of sage and parsley, a few sprigs each
- 2 rounded tablespoons flour
- 3 About 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Cup dry red wine
- 2 1/2 cups beef or veal stock
- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes, 5 large, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup warm milk
- Cup sour cream
- 2 rounded tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 cup smoked blue cheese or blue cheese crumbles
- 1 cup grated Parm or sharp cheddar
- A few grates of fresh nutmeg
- 1 cup finely chopped chives
- 2 large egg yolks
- Sprinkle of paprika
Pat the meat dry after chopping and before cooking.
Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and bacon and cook to crisp. Remove to a plate and drain all but 3-4 tablespoons drippings from the pot. Add beef or lamb, season with salt and pepper, and cook in 2 batches to brown and crust. Remove meat to the plate with bacon.
To meat drippings add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay herb bundle, salt and pepper. Cook partially covered 10-12 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally. Add flour and stir one minute to cook out raw flour taste, add Worcestershire and wine, and stir. Add stock and beef or lamb and bacon back to pan reduce heat to simmer and cook covered until tender, stirring occasionally, up to 40 minutes.
Place potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Salt water and cook to tender, drain and pass through ricer. Stir in warm milk to thin to your liking add sour cream, horseradish, cheeses, pepper, nutmeg and chives. Adjust seasoning, stir in egg yolks and pipe or spread over meat filling in casserole or single-serve dishes.
Heat broiler and place a rack in the center of the oven. Brown potatoes and sprinkle with paprika to serve.
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