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Catholic Recipe: French Style Shepherd's Pie


  • 5 lbs large new potatoes, washed and peeled
  • 12 slices thin bacon
  • 2 small red onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 trimmed leeks, sliced into rounds
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 to 2 1/2 lbs ground chicken, turkey or beef (your choice)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 7 1/8 ounces fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 5/8 ounces grated gruyere cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Details

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: n/a
  • Origin: France

This is a European take on the traditional Shepherd's Pie recipe. Suppposedly named after Auguste Parmentier, the person who popularized potatoes in France in the 18th century.


Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender, drain and mash. Meanwhile, heat the oil and half of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the bacon, stirring to separate the pieces. Now add the onion, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Cook for about five minutes. Add the leek and celery as well as salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender. Stir the chicken or beef into the vegetables. Add half the parsley and half of the breadcrumbs, stirred with the milk. Increase the heat, stirring as the meat changes color. Leave to cook for about 15 minutes, adding the rest of the parsley near the end of the cooking. Spoon the meat mixture into a casserole dish and top with the crushed potatoes. Mix the Gruyere with the remaining breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top and dot with the remainder of the butter, before cooking in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and crusty on top. Serve immediately. (For those who are fat conscious you can reduce the amount of butter, drain the fat from the bacon and beef.)

Recipe Source: Recipes from Various Websites
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