I adapted the Gordon Ramsay's recipe. He uses red wine, I used stout, to bring out the richness of the lamb. You can watch the video at the bottom of the blog entry. No language warning required!
This dish really highlights some of the great products of Manitoba, from the lamb, potatoes, carrots, etc., to the eggs and butter. If you don't have access to ground lamb, you can change this recipe to Cottage Pie by using ground beef. The St. Norbert's Farmer's Market has excellent ground beef at Wildfire Farms and Manitoba Beef.
1-2 lbs minced lamb (amounts vary according to your baking dishes) I used Spiritsands Shepherds lamb from Carberry, Manitoba, by Gerry Oliver. She can be reached for outside of Winnipeg, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 shallots, thinly sliced1-3 peeled and grated carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-5 Russet potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp dried chilies1/2 cup (+) good tomato paste (ie, not Hunt's, but there are fantastic tomato pastes from Turkey available at Millad's Supermarket)
1 cup stock, or more (I used lamb stock but use chicken)
1 can rich stout
salt, and pepper, to tastes
1 or 2 egg yolks, or up to 1 cup cream or buttermilk
1/4 cup butterpinch nutmeg
up to 1 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
olive oil, for cooking
Heat a deep saucepan to medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and brown the minced lamb. Drain off the lamb, when browned, and keep in a bowl. Cook the sliced shallots and add the browned lamb when the shallots are translucent. Add the minced garlic, grated carrots and seasonings. Then stir in the tomato paste, stock, and stout.
While that is simmering, cook the peeled potatoes until they slide off of the fork when tested. Drain and put potatoes through a ricer for a delicate texture or mash. Add butter, egg yolks nutmeg, salt and pepper, and grated Parmesan Reggiano. Mix until smooth but not gummy.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spoon minced lamb mixture into baking dish and then spoon on the potato mash. Top with more Parmesan and fork for a baked design. Bake for 20+ minutes, depending on the size of your baking dish, until browned and bubbling. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
Serve with a green salad.