Monday 4 March 2013

Pork Shepard's Pie!

St. Patrick's day is around the corner~Here's a twist to the traditional Shepard's pie that I think you will enjoy using "the other white meat"! This Shepard's pie which is typically made with mutton or beef, is lighter using pork. Because the shoulder has so much flavor you can opt to braise it in water instead of stock. I like using Yukon gold potatoes because they have a medium starch make up and can better absorb butter and cream. When it comes to cooking for a crowd, you want a all in one dish. Cooking many courses becomes difficult and overwhelming. This dish is perfect for a crowd and can be made in individual casseroles or one big one. I made individuals, then froze several for quick dinners going forward.

adapted from Chef Ryan Poli 


4 lbs. pork shoulder (ask for a good meat to fat ratio, the fat will melt during the cooking process and help to tenderize the pork)
3 T. salt
5 carrots, peeled and diced
4 celery ribs, cleaned and diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
8 whole peppercorns
5 T. tomato paste
9 large Yukon gold potatoes
12 T. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and cold
1 1/2-2 pints heavy cream
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. frozen peas

Preheat oven to 325F.

Season meat with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt. Place vegetables, garlic, peppercorns, 1 tablespoon salt and tomato paste on the bottom of a large ovenproof pot with a tight fitting lid with the pork on top. 

Cover with water three quarters of the way up, place a lid on the pot, and bring liquid to a boil on the stove top.

 Immediately transfer to oven, letting roast braise until tender and falling apart, 2 to 3 hours.

While pork is cooking, make potato topping. Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks (about 2"). Place in a pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and adjust heat to keep the water boiling without overflowing until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and put back on the burner for about 1 minute, to get every last bit of moisture out of the pot. While the potatoes are hot, put through a potato ricer into a bowl, then add 2 tsp salt, butter (piece by piece) and warm cream (slowly) until they reach the right consistency. Adjust seasoning. The texture will be silky. Place in a warm place in the kitchen.

Remove the pork from the oven and let rest in liquid for about 20-25 minutes to ensure it will not get dry. Remove the pork and reserve braising liquid. Carefully remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and transfer to an extra large mixing bowl. Add thawed peas. When roast is cool enough to handle dice it into medium-sized chunks or just tear with a fork into shreds. Combine with vegetables and add enough cooking liquid to moisten meat mix without letting it get stewy (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup), tasting and adjust seasoning if necessary.

To assemble, first potatoes must be hot to be spreadable. You can use any type of oven proof vessels or make one big one in a cake pan or oval casserole dish. You should fit 2 inches of filling, then pipe or spread the potatoes on top the meat mixture. Slide the pies under the broiler to lightly crisp the top.

If you are making in advance, bring the dish to room temperature and place in a preheated 325 F degree oven until hot.

Serves 12 

Last year I blogged about traditional Shepard's Pie, you can find it at Traditional Shepard's Pie!


 Wee Bear and I traveled to San Jose Del Cabo to visit friends. I played in the Querencia Blue Agave Classico last week (golf tournament). Competition was Saturday and Sunday, awards and party Sunday night. We had so much fun! 

Susan, my partner for the Blue Agave Classico with out tournament 1st place trophies!

Wee Bear and friend Jim having some fun!

 As usual the Querencia Blue Agave Classico was amazing with an amazing awards party! Susan and Bill could not of been better hosts, treating us to many dinners and a catered party at their home to see all our old friends. I will blog about one of the new restaurants in San Jose Del Cabo, that is not to be missed if you come to the Cabo San Lucas area.



  1. Will DEFINITELY be on the menu for this weekend!!! Emma, Paul, and I are in for a treat...this sounds/looks DELICIOUS!
    -Sarah M

  2. Pork Shepard's pie is delicious! Since I made this, we have pulled two out of the freezer a couple of it, having a dinner done in the freezer that is healthy and comforting! Enjoy!


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