Harry Potter Week: Hogwarts Shepherd’s Pie

I won’t lie, I anxiously hoped for an owl-delivered scroll of parchment proclaiming my acceptance to Hogwarts when I was 11. As Harry Potter book and movie fans alike can appreciate, J.K. Rowling manages to incorporate magic into the most basic and fundamental parts of everyday life in her books. The food is no exception. From self-peeling potatoes in Molly Weasley’s kitchen, to a magically refilling plate of sandwiches in Professor McGonagall’s office, and the bustling Hogwarts kitchen staffed by house elves sending up food to the Great Hall, no element of dining is left unturned in the Magical World.

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While a large spread of dishes is common for the feasts at Hogwarts, including the start and end of term, Halloween, and Christmas, typical dinners at school consist of meals with a central, or main dish. One such example, described in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is the traditional English shepherd’s pie. In the book, Harry poked half-heartedly at his shepherd’s pie, dreading the detention he would have to do with Professor Lockhart. Although I imagine that each House table would have been laden with large dishes of shepherd’s pie that were passed around and doled out on to the individual’s plate, I made my take on the meal by baking individual servings.

I’ve adapted my recipe from several different sources which I will include at the bottom along with the recipe.

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Pie filling made with beef, onion, carrots, peas, corn, tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.

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Topped with mashed potatoes with butter, milk, greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.

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Baked to golden brown and bubbly perfection.

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Served alongside a spring mix salad with tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, blue cheese, and homemade vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cranberry juice, focaccia seasoning, honey, and dijon mustard. Although I didn’t have any pumpkin juice, the next best thing was Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale.

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Mmmm, the sight and smell of the pies nearly made me forget to take the final picture. Magically baked or not, this piping hot shepherd’s pie would have definitely taken my mind off of any detention.

Recipe:

  1. Cover 2 large cubed potatoes in cold water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook until tender, then drain in colander and return to saucepan.
  3. Mash potatoes and mix in butter, milk, Greek yogurt, 2 cloves of roasted garlic, one egg yolk, cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

*Note- I eyeballed the ratio of ingredients in the potatoes and adjusted to taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add one tablespoon of canola oil to a sauté pan along with ½ cup chopped onion and one large chopped carrot. Cook 3-4 minutes and add 1 clove of chopped garlic.
  3. Add .75 lbs of ground beef, sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the meat has browned, and sprinkle with flour and cook for another minute.
  4. Add 1 tsp tomato paste, ½ cup chicken broth, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, and combine.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer covered for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Mix in ¼ cup each of frozen corn and peas-thawed.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins and top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing out and top and ensuring a seal over the meat to prevent drying out.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until nicely browned and let cool for 15 before serving.

Adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe and Sweetsugarbean’s recipe

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