Have you ever had an idea just randomly pop into your head, and then wonder “why didn’t I ever think about that before”? It started with the purchase of rainbow colored peppers that I planned on dehydrating for up at the cabin this winter. They were so beautiful, that I changed my plans for them. I decided only to dehydrate half of them (they aren’t nearly as pretty once they are dehydrated) and do something else with the other half.
One of the best ways to showcase peppers is stuffing them. I recently purchased a whole lamb from a local rancher (A Land of Grass) and the Baby boy has been begging for Shepherd’s Pie. That’s when it hit me, make Shepherd’s pie, stuff it into a pepper and top them with the mashed potatoes. Really, why didn’t I think of that before?
The idea was so novel to me that I refused to Google it and discover I wasn’t the only one. (Which I’m sure I’m not, and please don’t tell me otherwise. Let me live in my fantasy world of being the brilliant one who thought of it first).
I imagined a rainbow of peppers topped with fluffy mashed potatoes and filled with savory lamb mince. I wasn’t disappointed in the taste, the peppers were the perfect vehicle for the Shepherd’s Pie.
I was disappointed in my rainbow. Having never cooked purple peppers before, I had no idea that their color would change for a deep royal purple to a greenish grey color. The color, although disappointing only to me, seemed to have any factor on the consumption of the dish. Even the Baby boy (whom for a moment thought I might have ruined Shepherd’s Pie) loved all of it, even the pepper part.
The idea is mine, I based the Shepherd’s pie portion from Gordon Ramsey’s recipe.
Shepherd’s Stuffed Peppers
- 4 large bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 onion, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Maggi (or Worcestershire sauce)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon minced rosemary
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
Mashed Potato topping:
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut up
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup half and half
- white pepper
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F . Cut tops of the bell peppers and remover the seeds, wash and set upside down to drain. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Cook lamb, onion, garlic and carrots all at once over medium high heat until lamb is browned and cooked through. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Add chicken broth and red wine. cook over medium low until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile bring potatoes to a boil in a large pan covered in salted water. Once the potatoes come to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and put through a potato ricer or food mill. Melt butter and warm half & half in a small saucepan. Pour the warmed milk and butter slowly into the beaten eggs (not to fast or the eggs will cook). Add the milk, butter, egg mixture to the potatoes, stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Grease a casserole of pan small enough so that you can arrange the peppers snugly to keep them standing up. If your pan is too large, you can trim the bottom of the peppers slightly to even them out. Fill the peppers with the lamb mixture and top with the mashed potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes turn a light golden color. Serve immediately.