Shepherd’s Pie, New Mexico Style

Shepherd's pie with New Mexico Red chile sauce

 

Several months back one of my nieces posted on her Facebook page a picture of a Shepherd’s Pie she had made.  It looked delicious and made me aware that I had never made one and I’m not sure if I had ever eaten one. Growing up my mother made a lot of casseroles with meat and veggies topped with potatoes, biscuits or cornmeal mush, but I don’t remember anything being called “Shepherd’s Pie”.  Now that I’ve made one, I realize that I’ve been missing out on a delicious little classic.

I’d like to thank Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook for giving me that push I needed to make this dish.  Andy is the hostess of the Daring Cooks’ December 2012 challenge. She shared with us a traditional French Canadian classic, the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, fish pie, St Stephen’s Day pie and even Shepherdless Pie. When Andy stated, “If one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!”, I was hooked.  It’s definitely the season for comfort food, so I accepted the challenge and got to cooking.

I tried to stay as close to the heart of Shepherd’s Pie as I could; however, like most recipes, I had to give it my own personal little twist.  This recipe keeps the traditional layers of meat and potatoes, but between these two layers is a layer of sauteed mushrooms followed by a layer of feta cheese.  The meat mixture is ground beef and Mexican chorizo, corn and a touch of New Mexico red chile sauce. (Bet you didn’t see that coming. :) ).  The result was amazing!  I can’t believe it took me so long to make this dish!

Spicy shepherd's pie

 

 

Spicy Shepherd's pie

Kitchen Notes

As you can see, there are several steps to this recipe.  However, as I mentioned before, if you are a multitasker, then this recipe can be cooked up and assembled in less than 45 minutes.  If you bake it immediately after assembling, the bake time is only 15 to 20 minutes – just long enough to heat through.  However, you can always assemble it, then wait to bake.  If you do that, then add another 15 minutes to the bake time.

If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven big enough, you can use a casserole dish.

The chorizo – Mexican chorizo is perfect with this dish – spicy, and flavorful. If you don’t have any or don’t want to make your own chorizo, just use pork sausage or even turkey sausage.  If you do this, then you might want to increase the amount of chile to make it spicy enough.

The red chile sauce – If you don’t have red chile sauce, you could substitute with 1/2 cup spicy salsa or use 2 tsp. red chile powder (chile with an “e”), ¼ tsp. ground cumin, ½ tsp. oregano, and 1/2 cup water.

The mushrooms – You could use a variety of mushrooms.  I used button mushrooms, but you could easily substitute cremini, baby bellas, or shiitake. Just be sure to not overcook the mushrooms. They should be lightly brown and juicy.

To shorten the stovetop cooking time – add the mushrooms to the meat mixture after cooking the meat for about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the mushrooms start to release their liquids, then add the red chile sauce.

The cheese – One night we made this and didn’t have any feta, so I used 1 cup of a sharp cheddar.  It was delicious.  So don’t be afraid to try out a different cheese or to use a cheese you already have in your refrigerator.

The potatoes – The market had a 5 pound bag of organic Russet potatoes for $3 the other day, so that’s what I used. They worked great, but any type of potato would work – including sweet potato.

Because I use organic potatoes, I don’t peel them. There are a lot of nutrients in the peel that I’d rather have in my body than in the compost pile. So I just scrub the potatoes, cut and cook.

Cooking the potatoes – There are three ways to cook the potatoes:  boil them, microwave them, or bake them.  I chose to boil them this time, but I have been known to poke a couple of holes in a potato and microwave it. Baking would add time to the overall process, so I wouldn’t recommend that. You’ll be baking them anyway once the dish is assembled.

Variations – In Canada Paté Chinois (aka Shepherd’s Pie) is a quick and easy ground (minced) beef dish. Andy showed us one that she made with a layer of creamed corn. It looked delicious.  The beef can be replaced with lamb or a variety of vegetables could be added to meat. There are also fish versions and vegetarian versions.  Based on all of the variations that I found, it’s clear that this is a comfort food that can be adjusted to what you have on hand and what you like to eat.

Have you ever made a Shepherd’s Pie or Paté Chinois?  If no, then it’s high time you did!

Shepherd's Pie with a southwestern twist

 

This spice Shepherd’s Pie recipe has been share with the following blog hops:  Gluten-Free Fridays, Keep It Real Thursday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Wonderful Food Wednesday, Weekend Potluck, Made with Love Monday

This recipe was featured in the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop at Zesty South Indian Kitchen and The 21st Century Housewife.
Hearth & Soul Hop

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69 Responses to “Shepherd’s Pie, New Mexico Style”

  1. France @ Beyond The Peel December 17, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    I haven’t had Shepherds pie in ages and this is just such a fun twist. Perfect comfort food.

  2. Treat and Trick December 17, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    I love the adaptation you’d done and this looks extremely appetizing!

  3. Ambreen December 17, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    What a wonderful looking Shepherd’s pie, lots of delicious layers! Thanks MJ for visiting and for your sweet words :)

  4. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies December 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I make shepherd’s pie with lentils. :) I LOVE the idea of adding some southwestern flavors to it!

  5. BIL December 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Hey MJ… Paul here. This sounds great. I may beat you out on using sweet potatoes because I’m thinking about making this Wednesday night for dinner. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I hope leftovers are just as good so John can enjoy it when he gets home. Love to you and Bob.

    • mj December 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      Thanks Paul! If you do make it with sweet potatoes, let me know how it is. I love sweet potatoes with chorizo and red chile sauce, so it just makes sense that it would work. Enjoy Darlin! Love you too!

    • Paul January 6, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      Well, we finally made this wonderful dish with sweet potatoes. Yum. The only difference in how we made it was the omission of the mushrooms. Everything else we made as stated in the recipe, except the change of the sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes.

      The one thing I’ll do next time is drain the meat and chorizo layer before adding the feta layer, as we felt it had a bit too much liquid. Otherwise, it was excellent with the sweetness of the potatoes and the bit of heat from the red chile sauce. John thinks it would be good for breakfast with a fried egg on top. Mmmmm.

      • mj January 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

        Yay!!!!! So glad you liked it. What great alterations you made. Good decision on omitting the mushrooms since you were using sweet potatoes. Love the idea of the fried egg on top and who needs to wait for breakfast. :) Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  6. adam @unorthodoxepicure December 16, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    I’ve finally found it. A Shepherds Pie recipe that looks delicious. Thank you!

  7. Soni December 16, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Oh this looks gorgeous!! I love Spanish Chorizo, never tried Mexican and love the delicious layers of different flavors going on in this!! Lovely pics too :)

    • mj December 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks Soni! Mexican chorizo is an uncooked spicy sausage whereas I believe Spanish chorizo is smoked. I love them both, but you have to go to a specialty store to get Spanish whereas Mexican chorizo is pretty much everywhere.

  8. Jane December 16, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    I love all the layers in this dish! Sounds so good and comforting!

  9. Ramona December 16, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    Love that you added the red chili sauce.. now that’s my kind of shepherds’s pie. :)

  10. Raymund December 16, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    This is the sheperds pie for me, I love them Hot and spicy

    • mj December 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      If you like hot and spicy, then it’s definitely the one for you! Thanks Raymund!

  11. john@kitchenriffs December 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Really good notes. And I love the red chile sauce (and of course I did see that coming a mile away!). I’ve made Shepherd’s Pie, but it’s been years and years. Never with chorizo though (not to mention the red chile sauce!). Truly good stuff – thanks.

    • mj December 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      LOL John! Yep – it wasn’t hard to see the red chile sauce coming. :) I have no idea what a traditional Shepherd’s pie taste like, but this one was pretty darn good.

  12. Debra December 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    My mom used to make a shepherd’s pie casserole with some sort of canned soup, hamburger, corn, and kidney beans. This reminds me of that BUT yours looks so much better. I think the chorizo is genius as is the feta layer! Great post.

    • mj December 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      Thanks Debra! Yep – my mom used a lot of canned soup in casserole type dishes as well. I’m so glad to have eliminated most of my cans. :) It’s hard to know what really makes this dish – the chorizo or the mushrooms.

  13. Amanda@ChewTown December 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Oh how I love shepherd’s pie! Too hot to have it here in Australia at the moment, so I’ll jut have to be content with imagining the great flavour!

  14. Kim Bee December 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    This is beyond gorgeous. I just want to pull up a chair and dig in with a super large spoon.

  15. Karen (Back Road Journal) December 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    I have made a traditional shepherd’s pie but yours sounds wonderful with all the flavors you have going on.

  16. Tessa December 15, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Sounds so delicious! The addition of the chile sauce is brilliant! Also, I sure like that red skillet!

  17. Liz December 15, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Mmmmmm….I love your SW version of shepherd’s pie! I made my first about 5 years ago and it was definitely hubby approved. He’d be thrilled with yours, too~

  18. Shannon | Just As Delish December 15, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    I havent tried cooking shepherd’s pie too, and your twist with mexican flavours make me wonder if I could replace potatoes with sweet potatoes.. I love your addition of mushroom, yum!
    Shepherdless Pie? I must check out what’s that

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

      Thanks Shannon! I was thinking about using sweet potatoes next time I make this as well. I served them with red chile and feta before, so why not put on this pie!

  19. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles December 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    There’s nothing like discovering or rediscovering a classic. I just recently resuscitated meat loaf (of all things!) but oh the fun you can have putting your own twist on these beauties… I love your Mexican inspired version here MJ – not only the chorizo but also the chile sauce…. Mmm. Mushrooms and feta layer? oh my…, yes please! And talk about the perfect hearty, warming dish for winter (yes, we do get winter here in Canada – LOL!). This just sounds too good. I must assemble the ingredients!

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      Thank Kelly! I haven’t made meatloaf in ages because I’ve always found it quite boring. I’d love to see what you’ve done with it! Hopefully you’ll post your resuscitated meat loaf soon. :)

  20. Charles December 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Ooooh, feta and chorizo…! Great additions MJ. I tend to keep my shepherd’s pies very traditional and plain. Not for lack of inspiration I guess but I just never really considered trying to change them. Love what you’ve done with it though – that’s something to try next time!

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

      Thanks Charles! To be honest, when I started browsing the web for different variations, I did find many of them quite boring – not a lot of seasoning or depth. That’s why i tried to spice it up a bit. Hope you like it if you make it.

  21. Nancy/SpicieFoodie December 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Oh how funny I made one for dinner. Shepherd’s pie does say comfort food. I love it so much and all the variation it can take on. Your recipe sounds so great! I’ve also made it with chorizo but never the feta. Can’t wait to give this a try.

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

      That is funny Nancy! :) I hope you give feta a try. It was not overpowering, but rather it infused into the potatoes and added some depth to the meal. It was perfect! Thanks for your comments!

  22. ChgoJohn December 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    I’ve ordered shepherd’s pie when out but never tried making it myself. Seeing that your first attempt was so successful gives me hope. I especially like the addition of chorizo. Now that sounds delicious and would be a real surprise hiding under the mashed potato blanket.

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks John! You should try making because it was relatively easy, just a lot of steps.

  23. Choc Chip Uru December 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    What a delicious twist on Shepard pie :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  24. Zsuzsa December 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    I always avoided Shepherd’s pie like a plague, I found it boring and blah. There is a Hungarian version, which I quite like, except it’s made with lean ground pork and is shaped a little differently. But I think you are on the right track with adding flavour. Why not make it from beef and elevate it to a tasty dish. I think I will experiment a little as well and I am making a note to myself to credit you Peach Lady with the idea, which I think is brilliant.

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      Thanks Zsuzsa! I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with! It definitely seems like a dish that is open to a lot of creative. Hope you’re having a great weekend my friend!

  25. Adora's Box December 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    I love your spicy twist on shepherd’s pie, MJ. I love chorizo so I’m glad that’s there. Lamb is usually used in shepherd’d pie and beef in cottage pie around here but they are nowhere near as exciting as yours.

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      Thanks Adora! I was thinking about trying this with lamb. I love lamb but don’t eat it often. I think it would be delicious in this dish.

  26. Angie@Angie's Recipes December 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I like this! Wish there ain’t so much carbohydrates in it..I will have to use more mushrooms and less potatoes.

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      Thanks Angie! Yep – pretty heavy on the carbs, but we all need to splurge once in a while. :) I like your idea of more mushrooms and less potatoes.

  27. Sissi December 14, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    I like your New Mexico version a lot! My most frequent modifications in dishes is making them hotter, so I am sure I would love this one. I now realise I have never made Shepherd’s Pie because… I make Hachis Parmentier which is more or less the same (just like Crème Brûlée vs Burnt Cream and other dishes the origin of which is claimed by both nations). You have reminded me that I have never posted it!

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

      Thanks Sissi! I’ve never heard of Hachis Parmentier! I just looked it up and Wiki said it was like Shepherd’s pie in a potato peel. Sounds like something else to try. I hope you post it so I can check it out.

  28. The Wimpy Vegetarian December 14, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    I absolutely LOVE your version with chorizo and corn. What a fantastic idea. I made a shepherdless pie (what a great name!) about a month ago, but now I want to make yours. It’s going to rain all weekend, so it’s perfect timing.

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      Thanks WV!! Send me some of that rain will you?! We’re high and dry over here.

  29. SeattleDee December 14, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    OMG this looks and sounds amazing, your SW Shepherd’s Pie is a giant leap forward in taste. Chorizo, ‘shrooms, chili and feta – oh, yes please.

  30. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen December 14, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    I have fond memories of my friend’s mom making this often, my mother never did.. and nor did I. It is a true comfort food and I like your spin on it:)

    • mj December 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

      Thanks Barbara! Definitely comfort food that I have been missing out on. :)

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