Recipe adapted from “One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes and Stories from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond” by Valerie Bertinelli

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small sweet mini red peppers
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped (I have also used a shallot or a shallot and part of a red onion)
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons dry mustard
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into equal size pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Preheat the oven to 375˚.
  • Chop the carrot, celery and onion into like size pieces.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Combine the garlic, bay leaf, carrot, celery, onion in the oil and cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Push the vegetables to the perimeter of the pan and add the lamb.
  • Increase the heat to high and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned all over.
  • Sprinkle with the mustard, 1 teaspoon of the salt and some pepper, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the tomato paste, fennel seeds and tomato puree and stirring again to blend.
  • Cook for 1 minute more. Turn off the heat and stir in the mint and sage.
  • Remove the bay leaf.
  • Add the potatoes to a saucepan and cover by 2 inches of salted water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until a knife releases easily from the potatoes when pierced in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the potatoes.
  • In the same pot, combine the milk, butter, and 1/3 cup of the cooking water and stir together over high heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Work the potatoes through a ricer, then slowly drizzle the hot liquid over the potatoes and stir until light and fluffy.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon the lamb mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch deep-dish pie plate, spreading it evenly over the bottom.
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top, covering completely. Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to create a swirled pattern in the potatoes.
  • Bake until the topping turns golden, about 30 minutes.



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