Two nights before our wedding we got a box with presents from our registry- it was one of the first ones, and I got really excited (it felt like an early Christmas!). First, I pulled out a set of dessert plates I’ve been eying for some time, but there was also a cute cookbook which I didn’t have on my list.
As any food blogger would do, I flipped through the cookbook- Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Sized Sweets & Savories by Sarah Billingsley & Rachel Wharton- and picked out my favorite recipes. Immediately, I opened to the page with Shepherd’s Pie on it, and I knew this was going to be the first recipe I would make. Since we still had a wedding, and a honeymoon I knew it’d be a couple of weeks- but the moment we came home this recipe was immediately on my “to cook” list!
Using mason jar’s was a great idea for this dish- it kept everything in equal servings, and it was so easy to store, heat up, and take to work. The book suggested using smaller mason jars, but since I only had the medium size, this is what I used. With nights getting colder, this is the perfect dish to wrap your hands around the mason jar to keep warm, and your tummy full!
Thank you Jen & Neil- this is a great addition to our cookbook collection!
Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar
Adapted from: Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Size Sweets & Savories
3 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled & finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup green peas
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
In a medium pot, add the potatoes and water (so it covers the potatoes) and bring the water to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pot. Cook until the potatoes are tender, when pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them. In a large bowl, mash them using a potato masher (or mixer). Then add the milk, cheese, butter, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper- stir well.
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Then add in the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, until the onions are translucent. Next, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon and stirring frequently until it is browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Finally, add the peas, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and stir well.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place 6 medium-sized mason jars on a baking sheet.
First divide all of the meat mixture, then the mashed potatoes into all of the jars. Place the jars and banking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or until the potatoes turn golden).
The pies can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat at 350ºF for 15 minutes.