It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, which means it’s the perfect time to try a fun twist on a traditional Irish recipe. I suggest these Shepherd’s Pie Twice-Baked Potatoes. Hollowed out, roasted potatoes are the perfect vehicle for a wintry shepherd’s pie filling made with ground lamb, carrots, radishes, and herbs. Best of all, these festive entrees can be made ahead of time and rewarmed just before serving, making them ideal for parties or busy nights.
If ground lamb proves too tough for you to track down (or you prefer alternative meats), try ground beef instead — just be sure to call your creation Cottage Pie Twice-Baked Potatoes, since cattle don’t typically require shepherds!
Shepherd’s Pie Twice-Baked Potatoes
Makes: 6 servings
- 6 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound ground lamb (or beef)
- Sea salt (to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup red onions, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 1/4 cup radishes, diced
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped
- Black pepper (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 teaspoons fresh marjoram leaves, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Position a rack in the top third of the oven and pre-heat to 400 F.
- Poke russet potatoes all over with a fork. Carefully set potatoes directly on oven rack. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Set potatoes aside to cool and leave oven on.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break the lamb (or beef) up and add it to the pan. Sprinkle generously with sea salt, as well as celery seed and garlic powder. Cook lamb until nicely browned, 6-8 minutes. Remove lamb to a bowl and turn heat to medium.
- Add the sherry vinegar to the skillet and scrape up any brown bits. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots, radishes, and celery, along with a pinch each sea salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes more. Toss with Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon marjoram leaves, and set aside.
- Slice the top third off the cooked potatoes, reserving tops. Hollow out each potato, reserving the scooped out bits of potato, to leave a 1/4-inch thick wall all around. In a large bowl, mash the scooped out potato bits with the butter and milk, until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon marjoram and plenty of sea salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill the hollowed out potato skins with lamb mixture and cover with a dollop of mashed potatoes. Press the potatoes down slightly and then use a spoon to create peaks and valleys on the top. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of marjoram leaves over potatoes.
- Set stuffed potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into the 400 F oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until filling is bubbling and the peaks of the mashed potatoes are a rich golden brown. Cool briefly; then serve.