23 June 2011

although we are not shepherds

We still love shepherd's pie. Savory meat and colorful vegetables and creamy potatoes. Satisfying, not too heavy. Simple apart from the chopping, yet eminently freezable, making the extra chopping worthwhile by giving you a zero-labor meal later. 


Shepherd's Pie
(adapted from Kitchen Stewardship)

2 1/2 lbs red potatoes
4 cloves garlic
reserved cooking water
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream*
salt to taste

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef, turkey, or lamb
2 cups peeled and diced carrot or sweet potato
4 cups chopped broccoli (include stems)
2 cups frozen green peas
1/4 cup arrowroot starch or whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375 and coat 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
 2) Scrub and chop potatoes.** Place in large pot with peeled whole garlic cloves and cover with water. Bring to boil and cook 10 minutes or until easily pierced with fork. Ladle out 2 cups cooking water and set aside. Drain potatoes and garlic; they can sit in the colander while everything else cooks.
3) Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in large heavy saucepan. Add onion, cover and reduce heat to low, and cook about five minutes. Add ground beef, raise heat to medium and cook until browned.
4) Stir carrot or sweet potato into beef mixture. Cover, let cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add broccoli and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in frozen peas.
5) Add arrowroot or flour to meat-veggie mixture; stir to combine thoroughly. Pour in stock and raise to boil, stirring frequently until thickened. Season with spices, salt, and pepper. (You may want more than called for.)
6) Mash potatoes and garlic with some cooking water, egg, and sour cream. Add more water if you need it for consistency and season to taste with salt.
9) Pour meat-veggie mixture into pan. Spread potatoes on top, as thick as you want; if you made too much, hey, leftover mashed potatoes are a pretty happy fate. Especially when they are as garlicky and creamy as this. Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly and browned at the edges.
10) You can also cool it, cover with foil, and stick it in the fridge or freezer; to serve, thaw if it was frozen, and bake it at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Or if you want some now and some later, divide between two smaller dishes, serve one today, and freeze the other. (That's what I do.) And finally, you can always divide the recipe in half if you are serving a small family and aren't interesting in freezing.

*Use part mayonnaise for extra richness and, um, calories. I am thinking of homemade mayo, though. I don't know how good it would be with storebought.
**I never peel them. Your choice.


  1. I just wanted to commend you for the practicality of this recipe. All the details for storing and using the recipe were fantastic to see written out. Since I am meal-planning for my parents and brothers, little details like this make my life 1000X easier. I'll be happy to use your recipe. I am so glad you linked to the Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter. Appreciated! :)

  2. What a fantastic recipe! My hubby is very picky about shepherd's pie and was quite unsure about the extra vegetables, especially the broccoli. However, once he tasted it he declared it the best he's ever eaten! I don't think I'll ever make a different recipe. Thank you so much!!

  3. yay, so glad!