Lunchbreak: SmallBar Division makes shepherd’s pie

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SmallBar Division
2049 W. Division
Chicago, IL
(773) 772-2727

Lunchbreak: Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie with Ten FIDY Stout Gravy


The Marinade

10 lb. whole lamb shanks (approximately 5 ea.)

24 oz. stout beer (any stout will work well)

24 oz. cold water

2 ea.  julienne Spanish onion

4 ea.  sprig fresh thyme

7 ea.  smashed fresh garlic

1 Tbs. toasted black peppercorn

The Braising liquid Braise is a slow, low wet cooking method a perfect choice for tougher cuts of meat. For the braise we must have a liquid so we build a stock. Though if at home you can choose a hormone free beef, veal or chicken stock as a replacement.


The Pork Stock

10 lb. pork bones (rinsed under cold water)

6 ea. whole carrots (pealed and rough chopped)

3 ea. whole Spanish onions (skinned and cut into large dice)

2 ea. whole head garlic (cut in half “across”)

2.5 Tbs. tomato paste 1.5 Tbs. whole black peppercorns (toasted)

2 ea. whole dry bay leaf 6 stems fresh thyme 6 stems fresh oregano


The Braise

1 ea. large, flat wide bottom pan (for caramelizing the shanks)

3 Tbs. blend oil salt and pepper (for seasoning)

1 large oven safe dish that can hold the meat and the liquid

1 Tbs. blend oil 2 ea. whole carrots (pealed and rough chopped)

1 ea. whole Spanish onion (skinned and cut into med. dice)

4 ea. cloves garlic (smashed) 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns (toasted)

1 bunch thyme 24 oz. Oskar Blues Ten FIDY stout beer (any stout will work well)

1 ea. Large sheet aluminum foil

Set oven to 325

The Filling

2 Tbs. pomace oil

1 lb. rutabaga (peeled and diced 1/2 in”)

1 lb. carrots (peeled and diced 1/2”)

1 lb. pearl onions (cleaned)

1 lb. turnips (peeled and diced 1/2”)

4 Tbs. minced garlic 1/2 C. chopped parsley

4 Tbs. All Purpose Flour 2 qt. reduced and cleaned braising liquid

The Potatoes

2.5 lb. russet potatoes

2.5 lb. Yukon gold potatoes

2 Cups  whole milk

4 oz. unsalted butter kosher salt and black pepper to season


The Marinade Rinse the shanks under cold water, do not worry about trimming any of the meat it will all be done after it braises. Combine all ingredients and submerge shanks in marinade, placing a sheet of parchment paper (plastic wrap will also work) on top and top weighting with a plate to keep the meat entirely under marinade. Allow to marinate for 24 hours under refrigeration.

*On 2nd day remove shanks (you can discard marinade) and place on a drying rack dabbing with clean, dry towel. You do not want extra moisture when these hit your hot pan.

The Pork Stock Place Pork bones in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Set the heat to high allowing to come to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes (you will notice a “scum” forming on the surface of the water) this scum in a byproduct of all the impurities in the bones (we are really “cleaning the bones before we make the actual stock) and dump out the water, rinse the bones again with cold water, washing off any lingering scum. Cover bones again with cold water (about 5 gal.) and set to the stove on high bringing back up to a boil. Once liquid is at a boil turn down to a low simmer and add the tomato paste. Allow the stock to cook for about 3 hours, skimming the top fat as it cooks. Add the remaining ingredients and allow to cook for another hour.  Your end goal is a rich meaty pork stock, but not thick and sticky. Your stock should taste and eat like a rich soup broth. Strain the liquid and cool until ready for use.

(*Pork bones can be used again to extract a lighter version of the above, simply do it all over again with the same bones. But this time you can skip the washing steps.)

The Braise With the shanks dried set your pan to medium high heat and allow it to get “hot” and add the oil (it should smoke slightly when the oil is added). Season the shanks with salt and pepper, and place into the pan one at a time, making sure there is no overlapping (the meat needs to rest fully in the pan for even caramelization). Allow meat to continue on med. high for about 5 minutes or until a golden dark brown crust has developed. Once this has happened turn the meat over and allow the opposite side to once again caramelize. With the shanks all golden brown, transfer them to your oven ready pan. Add the Blend oil, carrots, onions, garlic, black peppercorns, and thyme to the same pan and cook stirring all the while. Once fragrant add the 24 oz of Oskar Blues Ten FIDY stout (or other stout) and allow to reduce in pan by half. Add 2 gal. veal stock from before and allow to come to a boil. Pour hot liquid over cheeks (in oven ready pan) and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan in middle rack of preheated oven and set timer for 3 hours. Shanks are ready when meat flakes if poked with a small knife. Remove pan from oven, remove foil and gently remove shanks from liquid with a large slotted spoon and cover with plastic film and set aside to cool while cooling Strain braising liquid into a pot and set to the stove on “low” heat to skim the fat which will rise to the top as we clean the shanks. (this will become the gravy for the pie) Skim shiny gold fat as it rises with a deep spoon or ladle; you are looking for a deep rich sauce, thick enough to coat the back of your spoon. With braising liquid reducing pick meat from bone, being careful to remove any tendons. With all meat picked cover with plastic film and set to the side to cool.

The Filling In a large flat bottom pan over medium/high heat add the pomace oil, once lightly smoking add the rutabaga, carrot, onion and turnip cooking until slightly caramelized. Once vegetables are cooked about half way through, approximately seven minutes add the garlic and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add butter, parsley and flour then cook two-three minutes more. With flour cooked slightly slowly begin to add braising liquid stirring all the while, once all combined add picked braised lamb and allow to simmer until gravy is thick but not tacky.

The Potatoes Peel potatoes and cover in salted water, set to a simmer until potatoes are fork tinder. With potatoes cooking put milk to the stove and bring to a simmer. Once potatoes are tinder strain and pass through a potato ricer over butter as to melt in whisk in milk and season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes into pastry bag and keep warm.

Assembly Preheat oven to 375 degrees Place filling into the bottom of an oven proof casserole dish, pipe potato into 1/2” dollops around casserole, starting around the edges of dish and working in until entire dish is covered. Place dish into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are golden. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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