Mediterranean Shepard's Pie


1 recipe Roomano Mashed Potatoes
1/2 pound beef stew meat, cubed
1/2 pound Italian sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons sage
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup dry Marsala wine
2 1/2 cups Beef Stock
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Serves 6 To 8

Prepare the Romano Mashed Potatoes and deep warm until needed. The mashed potatoes can be prepared ahead and refrigerated until you're ready to assemble the pie. Warm the potatoes in the microwave before trying to spread them over the pie.

Place the stew meat, chicken and sausage on a large plate and sprinkle with the salt, pepper and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the flour, tossing to coat the meat evenly. Shake off any excess flour. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven set on high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the beef cubes and cook until until well browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat with the sausage.

To the same pan set on medium-high heat, add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, paprika, thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour, the tomato paste and sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Return the meats and any accumulated juices to the pan. Stir in the Marsala and boil until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. It will be necessary to stir a bit while the wine is reducing because the four will thicken the sauce. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Add the peas to the stew during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Pour the stew into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Drop the mashed potatoes by spoonfuls on the stew and gently smooth them out with the bottom of the spoon or a knife. Don't press too hard or you'll push them down into the stew. Brush the top with the melted butter and sprinkle with the Romano cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and the stew is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Chef's Tip:

You can make an attractive design in the potatoes by lightly running the tines of a fork across the top after they've been brushed with the butter.

Wine Suggestion - Syrah