A Very Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

A Very Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe was used for a recent supper and the leftovers were perfect for a hot lunch the next day. The recipe makes a generous 9″ x 13″ pan of pure comfort food. The dish comes together quickly and makes a warming dish for a cold winter evening.

This is traditionally a meat and potatoes dish but we love our vegetables so the recipe includes plenty.   Feel free to blur the lines on the amounts for each veggie.   We use a full glass quart Pyrex of diced raw roots, onion and celery to saute with the meat.

We’ve made Shepherd’s Pie with any combination of ground beef, lamb and pork.  We like using two different kinds of meat for best flavor.

For the meat mixture:

1 lb. BBF ground beef

1 lb. BBF ground pork

1 ½ tsp. salt

Fresh ground pepper

2 tsp granulated garlic

1 cup diced organic carrot

1 cup diced organic celery

1/4 cup diced Laura’s Flat Leaf Parsley

1 cup diced organic onion

1 cup diced organic rutabaga (sub diced turnip, kohlrabi or celeriac)

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 tsp minced Laura’s fresh Rosemary

1 – 7 oz jar organic tomato paste

1/2 – 3/4 cup beef or chicken stock to deglaze

1 bag frozen organic peas

For the topping:

10 med organic potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut in half

3 Tbs. organic Butter

1 cup grated McCluskey Sharp or Mild Cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet and add ground meat, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic.  Brown meat, chopping up into small pieces.  When meat is no longer pink, use a slotted spoon and transfer meat to a bowl leaving leftover fat still in the skillet.  Add vegetables to the skillet, season with salt, and cook on medium/low heat until tender.  Add water or stock, cover and steam vegetables, if needed, to tenderize veggies without browning too much.

When veggies are tender, add the meat back to the skillet along with the tomato paste.  Combine well and cook mixture a couple minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock and frozen peas, scraping the bottom of the pan.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off.

Add potatoes to a big pot and cover with water.  Bring potatoes to a boil and simmer gently until tender.  Drain all but 1/2 – 3/4 cup water.  Mash potatoes with remaining cooking water, butter, cheese, and lots of salt and pepper.

Transfer meat mixture to a glass 9×13 baking dish, set on a rimmed baking sheet.  Add mashed potatoes on top and smooth with a spatula.  Bake the dish in a 400 degree oven for about 40 min or until it’s bubbly around the edges and potatoes are lightly browned.  Cool at least 10 mins before serving.

Tip for rewarming:  Cut Shepherd’s Pie into individual pieces and place in 325 oven for 20 minutes.