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Lamb Cottage Pie and Lightly Pickled Sweet Vegetables


Courtesy of: Chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos, Chef/Owner of Essence Bakery Café

Lamb Cottage Pie

2.5 lbs lamb stew meat, trimmed
1 lbs onions, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lbs yukon gold potatoes, not peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
8 garlic gloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups rich red wine
2 cups rich chicken or beef stock
1/4 cup flour
3 TBSP melted butter

Traditional uncooked pie crust
Pie crust for top or mashed potatoes to put on top

Brown lamb with olive oil in large saute pan or dutch oven over medium high heat.  Season with salt and pepper.
Strain lamb and reserve. 
Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Add onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic and thyme to saute pan and cook until slightly wilted, about 7-8 minutes.  Season vegetables with salt and pepper.  Add wine and bring to boil.  Add tomato paste and combine well.  Add chicken or beef stock and bring to boil.  In separate small sauce pan, melt butter.  Whisk flour into melted butter to remove lumps.  Slowly add to boiling stock and vegetable mixture.  Add reserved lamb to pot, bring to boil.  Cover, place in preheated oven for 2 hours or until lamb is very tender.
Remove cover, set aside to cool.
Best to prepare several hours before or day ahead.
Roll out pie dough and form in pie pan .  Add cooled lamb mixture.
Top lamb pie with another pie crust or cooled mashed potatoes smoothed over lamb mixture.  Close pie with either other pie crust or mashed potatoes.  
Bake lamb pie in preheated 350 degree oven for about 50-60 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown..
Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
Served 6-8. 

Lightly Pickled Sweet Vegetables

1 pound thinly sliced  assortment of 2-3 of the following :
cucumbers, onions, red onions, radishes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli 
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
3 cups ice
Slice vegetables as thinly as possible.  In large bowl, toss vegetables with salt and then ice.
Reserve, covered in refrigerator overnight.
Remove vegetables the following day and rinse in colander to remove salt.

Place vegetables in medium sized bowl.

In saucepan combine:
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 smashed garlic clove
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 celery fronds

Combine ingredients and bring to rolling boil.  Pour over rinsed vegetables.  Film vegetables directly with plastic wrap.  Place in fridge.  
Allow to marinate overnight.  Will keep for 2 weeks covered in refrigerator. 
Great with sandwiches, cheeses, sausages, cold cuts, etc.

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