Mashed Potato Topping
- 1 1/2 - 2 lbs lamb shoulder, trimmed of all fat and sinew, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 Tbl canola oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 Tbl Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
- 4 c lamb stock or beef broth
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in cubes (about 2 c total)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbl chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Tbl chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 Tbl chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 4 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1-2 large egg yolks
- 2-4 Tbl unsalted butter
- 1/4 c heavy cream
Prepare the lamb.
Dry the cubed lamb on all sides with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Spread the meat evenly over the bottom of the pan, taking care not to crowd the meat too close together, and leave the meat to brown without stirring for several minutes. Turn the cubes over and brown on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. Use a slotted spook to transfer the meat to a plate. Return the pan to the heat.
Sweat the vegetables.
Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pan, stirring occasionally. As the vegetables cook they will deglaze the pan; use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan - those are yummy flavor. Continue cooking 4-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent yet still firm.
Prepare the stew filling.
Add the flour to the cooking vegetables and stir, browning the flour mixture lightly. Add the lamb or beef stock and scrape up any last brown bits from the bottom of the pan while the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the cubed potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Lower the heat to medium and simmer 90 minutes or until the meat is tender. Remove the bay leaves and transfer the stew to an oven-proof baking dish. (In my photos I actually made individual-sized portions, so find baking dishes which will hold a collective 8 cups of filling, approximately.)
Mash the potatoes.
While the filling is simmering, place the chopped potatoes into a pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat to medium. Allow the potatoes to simmer uncovered until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Test if they are cooked through by poking a knife into it; the potatoes should easily pierce and break apart if softened properly. Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot. Mash with a potato masher or a ricer into a mixing bowl. How much egg yolk, butter, and heavy cream you add next is up to you. If you do the full amount that will yield a very rich potato topping. My preference is the minimal amount, but they still taste delicious no matter. Add the egg yolks, butter, and heavy cream while the potatoes are hot and whisk until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top and bake.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using a large pastry bag with a star tip or zip top bag with a corner cut off, spoon the potato mixture into the bag. Working quickly, pipe rosettes or a swirl of mashed potatoes over the entire top of the lamb mixture. You can also spread the mashed potatoes out with a spatula, but be sure to seal in the stew. Line a baking sheet with foil and set the baking dish(es) on top and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the potatoes are beginning to brown. Let the stew rest for 10 minutes and serve.