Sheppards Pie

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Okay....had this at a local watering hole the other day. Figured, I'd take a stab at it. The dish came out pretty good, with one thing that kind of nags at me. The ground lamb I used: it came out tasting slightly gamey, kind of like when I've cooked deer. Is there a way to tamp down that flavor, or is it inherent in the versions of Sheppard's Pie anyone else has made?

 
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I'll make this suggestion before our resident Greek chimes in - try a 50-50 blend of lamb and beef. And if a resident English -person chimes in I'm probably left with no credibility at all.  :)
 
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I'm here I'm here lol. Seriously though the least Haney part of the lamb is the leg and the ribs imo. Both expensive cuts. I prefer cottage pie because I can't stand gameyness. But this is why middle easterners do well wth lamb, we douse it in spices like cinnamon and cloves and it counteracts the game.
 
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Okay....had this at a local watering hole the other day. Figured, I'd take a stab at it. The dish came out pretty good, with one thing that kind of nags at me. The ground lamb I used: it came out tasting slightly gamey, kind of like when I've cooked deer. Is there a way to tamp down that flavor, or is it inherent in the versions of Sheppard's Pie anyone else has made?

It's supposed to be gamey its lamb. Lamb is gamey. If you don't like the flavor of lamb you should use beef. This is called a "cottage" pie and is also very good. 
 
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Lamb may 'be' gamey. But the point I was making is simple: I've had deer many, many times. Sometimes it's 'gamey' sometimes it's not. The question remains: how to temper the harshness while maintaining the flavor of lamb?
 
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Are you sure you had lamb?

Mutton (older lamb AKA sheep) has that wild flavor and I am not a fan of it either.

The venison you are comparing to is most likely from a buck in rut....it's a hormone thing and if you end up with one the best way to use it would be to mix with pork (50/50) season to your satisfaction and smoke for a short time.

When I hunt I try to bag a doe or spike....not only more tender but way easier to mask that off taste.

mimi
 
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 The question remains: how to temper the harshness while maintaining the flavor of lamb?
A buttermilk soak will somewhat neutralize or tame strong flavors.

My experience with gamy has led me to come to the conclusion that it is usually represenative of the methods of collection, field dressing, and processing. I have the luxury of being able to have deer hanging in a walk-in within 30-60 minutes. World of difference.
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2016
 
Are you sure you had lamb?

Mutton (older lamb AKA sheep) has that wild flavor and I am not a fan of it either.

The venison you are comparing to is most likely from a buck in rut....it's a hormone thing and if you end up with one the best way to use it would be to mix with pork (50/50) season to your satisfaction and smoke for a short time.

When I hunt I try to bag a doe or spike....not only more tender but way easier to mask that off taste.

mimi
Yup. Package from the Market said "Ground Lamb".  The deer meat I noted was more of a reference point, as I've had it where it was tasty but other times it was gamey almost to the point of being inedible.

Do like the suggestions so far of mixing the Sheppard's Pie  it with either pork or beef. I considered the buttermilk angle after I'd made it.  I did not do it before cooking as I was unsure of how / if that would work.  My reason to make it in the first place was for it to be as 'authentic' as possible, but clearly it needs to be adjusted in some manner for a more palatable taste.
 
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Yup. Package from the Market said "Ground Lamb". 
I don't mean to question the integrity of your market, but having been in the food biz a number of years...ground meat a lot of times may not be a good represenative of prime freshness. You might be achieve results more to your liking by buying meat and grinding it yourself or having them grind it for you. The advantage to grinding it yourself is that you could then do an overnight buttermilk soak before grinding. :~)
 
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That is a good idea; I may end up taking that route. Grinding it myself may permit a better chance to get the not only the buttermilk aspect incorporated, but also to adjust the spice mix better. I expect the advice offered here by yourself and others will make the next batch a bit more palatable. I'll update once round two is out of the oven....

Cheers!
 
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the versions I have eaten are all beef based, some using ground beef, some using leftover roast beef or pot roast.  accounts I have read say the dish was invented to use up Sunday dinner leftovers, a favorite Irish Sunday dinner being lamb, potatoes, and root vegetables.  
 
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Not dry at all, no oil or anything at all, I cook it in skillet with usual carrots, onions, sage, thyme, tomato paste..etc
 
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