1.22.2016

Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping

Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping


Hello, friend.

It's official, the first snowfall of the season happened this past week. Now I’m done and ready for spring. Please, and thank you.

For Christmas this last year I received so much cast iron. From pots, skillets, casserole dishes, plates, and more, it was truly a cast iron Christmas for me. If you’re new to the blog, a very important fact about me is that my love for cast iron runs deep. I love it. Scratch that, I’m obsessed with it. There is something so rustic and charming about cooking or baking in a cast iron skillet. It tells a story of dinners past and meals gone by. When I’m using my cast iron skillet, it makes me think I live on an old farm in the deep south and I’m making a beautiful Sunday brunch for friends and family. I also am known to daydream, a lot.


So Shepard’s pie. Why? Well for two reasons:

1). It’s getting increasingly cold in the Midwest (i.e.,. The first snow!), so warm comfort food is definitely in order

           And

2). My brother moved out!  

Jon graduated college this past December and has been actively searching for an apartment to rent in the surrounding area. He found a unit located in the town roughly 10 minutes from where my parents live. Being the good brother I am, I wanted to get him a housewarming gift, and that gift was Shepard’s pie. Unlike his food blogging twin, Jon isn’t a man of the culinary. His idea of a meal is pop tarts and boxed hamburger helper (which isn’t a bad thing, who doesn’t like pop tarts or hamburger helper?? But I digress). He isn’t the person to get too adventurous in the kitchen. He’s more guitars and mechanics while I’m food and photography. We both have our vices. After his first trip to the grocery store, he told me he bought jarred marinara sauce. I gasped.  

The inspiration for this recipe came in two parts: this photo and this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube. I knew I had to make something that combined these two worlds of inspiration. This recipe is that brainchild. The original recipe calls for duck, but the grocery store in my small college town fails to sell duck, so I substituted the duck for pork butt and it turned out perfect. The combination of the pork butt, chorizo, sautéed onions, carrots, leeks, and fresh herbs simmered slowly in a white wine + beef stock created a flavor that was indescribably delicious.  The aromas that emitted from the cast iron pot were warm and herbal that reminded me of cold winter days, snowy nights, and listening to acoustic soundtracks by the fire. Savory perfection.

Typically, mashed potatoes are spread over top of the stewed meat and baked in the oven until the potatoes are a light golden brown. Inspiration took me on a different path. I decided to add a few dollops of cheddar bay biscuits as the topping. I’m not exaggerating here; these biscuits taste EXACTLY like the ones at Red Lobster. I’ve been making them for a long while, and I haven’t had a bad batch yet. These biscuits make the perfect topping to this savory Shepard’s pie. Right out of the oven the pie is warm and bubbling. The biscuits are golden brown on top, brushed on with garlic and parsley infused melted butter while being slightly doughy on the bottom that marinades beautifully into the stew.  This Shepard’s pie is the perfect Saturday meal when the weather's cold and the fireplace is warm. 

Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping 
Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping


Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
Serves 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pound pork butt or lamb shoulder, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
2 red onions, 1 white onion, & 1 yellow onion, all roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, cleaned and roughly chopped*
1 garlic bulb, cut half crossways
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon flour
1 ½ cup white wine or white wine vinegar
4 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon parsley
3 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
3 oz. chorizo
5 cups Bisquick baking mix
8 tablespoons cold butter, small cubed
2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 ½ cup milk
½ teaspoon + 1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons butter, melted
½ dried parsley
Pinch salt 



Directions

For the stew. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cut pork butt into medium size chunks and cook in the skillet in batches until browned on all sides. Transfer cooked pork and all but 2 tablespoons of oil to a stock pot.

Add the onions, leeks, and carrots and cook in the oil for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften and the onions become translucent.  Add the garlic and tomato paste, raise the heat slightly to allow the vegetables to caramelize. After a minute, stir in the flour and leave to cook for one minute. Add the white wine and leave to simmer for about 3-5 minutes.

Transfer mixture to the stock pot with the browned pork butt. Stir in the beef stock, rosemary, bay, parsley, crushed red pepper, and paprika. Cover and let stew for 2 hours over medium heat.
In a medium skillet cook the chorizo and, after the two hours, add to the stockpot. Allow to stew, covered, for 1 hour, allowing the chorizo to infuse into the stew.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

*If using an iron skillet. Transfer ¾ of the stew to a 12 inch cast iron skillet and ¼ of the excess mixture to an 8x8 baking dish (cover and freeze it for later!). Dollop 5-6 scoops of dough onto the surface of the stew and bake the rest of the biscuits on a baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown, and the stew is warm and bubbling.

**If using a regular casserole dish. Transfer the stew to a 9x13 casserole dish. Dollop enough scoops of dough to cover the surface area of the stew. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown, and the stew is warm and bubbling.

For the cheddar bay biscuits. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium size bowl, cut the butter into the flour until you reach pea-size butter chunks. Stir in the milk, cheese, and garlic powder. Spoon in 2 tablespoons of dough per biscuit onto a greased baking sheet or on top of the Shepard’s pie. (See notes above*).

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, parsley, garlic powder, and salt. After taking the biscuits out of the oven, brush the melted butter mixture over each biscuit.



1 comment:

  1. Interesting recipe and photos as well. I'm sure this Iron Skillet Shepard's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping is delicious and tasty!

    ReplyDelete