Winter and spring are perfect for meals that require oven time. Living on a boat, we opt for barbecuing most of our summer and fall main courses so we don’t heat up our living space. But when the cold winds are a’blowin’ the oven helps to keep us cozy and fills our home with a delicious aroma as we tuck in against the elements.
Being from an English family from Northern Ireland, I grew up with a lot of potatoes in our meals … baked, boiled and mashed with gobs of butter. Before Daddy opened Benson Electric he was the head electrician (shout out to IBEW 595) for East Bay Packing in Oakland, which was a major meat packing company for the East Bay. So we also had a lot of beef (we’re talking five out of seven nights a week!) for dinner.
My mother made this recipe using ground beef, but Nana was a purist and used ground lamb. Both used a bag of frozen veggies which other than for this recipe, I never use as we don’t have a freezer on our boat and I prefer buying fresh produce a few times a week. But I do like the uniformity of the pieces and it sure makes it easier than having to cut and prepare each of the different veggies.
Alameda’s Grocery Outlet carries all of these ingredients regularly. For both storage and ecology sake, I love that most of Grocery Outlet’s meat selections aren’t on styrofoam. They also have an extensive frozen food aisle so you’ll most likely find different varieties of veggies that you might prefer to what I used. Some don’t have the green beans and others have lima beans, for instance.
I’ve tweaked the recipe to our own tastes, but thought of Nana’s kitchen as I mashed the potatoes with the dough mixer she used to make pie crusts, cookies, mashed turnips and potatoes.
Mashed Potato Ingredients:
- 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 12-16 oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables (I used peas, corn, carrots and green beans) that has been completely thawed in the refrigerator and drained in a colander.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Put the potato pieces in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the potatoes easily fall apart with a fork. Drain.
- Add the butter and half and half and mash with a ricer or fork until no lumps remain and mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper.
- Add the egg yolk to the potatoes and mix until fully blended. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large deep pan.
- Add the onions and garlic and saute over medium heat until they begin to brown.
- Add the lamb, salt and pepper, and stir, breaking apart as it browns.
- When the lamb is fully cooked, sprinkle the flour over the mixture and combine.
- Turn heat to medium high and add the turmeric, rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and mix in the veggies.
- Spread the mixture into an 8″ x 8″ glass pan. (No need to grease as the lamb fat does the job nicely.)
- Spread the mashed potatoes even over the lamb/veggie mixture, starting at the edges to create a seal to prevent the filling from bubbling over.
- Place the pan on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil in the center of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes just begin to brown. (And despite your best efforts, there will be some bubbling over. The filling may ooze over the potatoes a bit and the turmeric will give it a yellow tinge.)
- Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 4; or two with leftovers for lunch!
Go To Tuesdays are weekly recipes from products purchased at the Alameda Grocery Outlet, 730 Buena Vista Ave.
Please let me know if you made the recipe and liked it or would suggest changes. And also feel free to suggest future recipes.