RECIPE: A faster, easier shepherd’s pie



Shepherd’s pie is an ideal one-pot dish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or just get through the last dregs of winter. Traditional recipes aren’t as time-consuming as Irish stew or corned beef, but they can be labor-intensive. You’ve got to peel, boil and mash potatoes; slice and dice vegetables, herbs and aromatics; and cook down a rich ground lamb stew.

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For a weeknight version, you’ll need to take some shortcuts. First smash the lamb into a single, large patty in a hot skillet. This method helps to get the lamb browning quickly on one side before beginning to steam so it builds more fond and flavor than you would if you break it up immediately. Then, instead of all of the slicing and dicing, add in a bag of frozen peas and carrots, along with a big shake of Italian seasoning. These vegetables cook quickly and the spice blend adds depth of flavor to the meat. Instead of mashed potatoes, top the stew with frozen tater tots. After a quick bake and broil in the oven, the undersides of the tots melt into the stew, while the top turns brown and crisp.

The whole thing comes together in just under 30 minutes, and you won’t even need to pull out a knife and cutting board.

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Shortcut Shepherd’s Pie