English shepard pie meets the old French classic dish. You can sub bacon for the pancetta. Be careful with adding salt, as pancetta can be pretty salty. Good served with buttered carrots and a loaf of crusty French bread. Be sure to use beef consomme, not broth, as it is richer in flavor and really adds to the dish. I buy frozen pearl onions so I don't have to peel them.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook beef (in batches) for 3-4 minutes, turning until browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add remaining oil to the pan and add onions, rosemary, pancetta and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions have softened. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in flour and cook another minute. Add tomato paste and cook another minute. Return to beef to pan and add wine, consomme and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, if desired (see description for note on salt) and bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
Cover pan and cook in oven for 1 hour or until meat is tender.
Remove lid and continue cooking in oven for 20 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a warmed 6 cup baking dish or casserole.
Meanwhile, place potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and bring to a low boil over medium-high. Cook for 12-15 minutes until tender. Drain and mash until smooth. Stir in butter and half and half and season.
Preheat the oven broiler. Place rack in middle position.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture and use a fork to make light lines on surface. Broil for 5 minutes, or until golden. Garnish with parsley and serve.