Wednesday, August 8, 2012
A New Take on Shepherd's Pie
For years, traditional shepherd's pie, using a basic recipe, was on my regular dinner rotation. It was easy to make, healthy and fairly lean. It was also a great, make-ahead meal on the weekends so that during the week all I had to do was add a salad or quick steamed veggies and dinner was on the table in 20 minutes. But I started to notice that for the past year or so, I wasn't making it. A couple of times I was even planning to make it and, at the last minute, decided to make something else. Somehow I'd fallen out of the mood for this dish. But why?
But who said I had to make it using the "traditional" recipe, anyway? I'm always retooling ingredients and techniques so why should this dish be spared? More veggies, wine, stock, sauce reductions...I could do all those things to this dish and now my traditional shepherd's pie is less traditional and far more interesting. And happily, it's back on my regular dinner rotation. Enjoy!
1 lb. Ground beef
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Onion, diced
1 Stalk celery, diced
1/2 Cup peas
1/2 Cup carrots, peeled and diced
2 Sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 Cup red wine
1/2 Cup beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste
3 White potatoes
1 Sweet potato
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons chopped scallions or chives
Peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces. Place in a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook until fork tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add the butter and milk and mash until smooth.Add the cheese, herbs and any additional seasoning that's needed.
Pour the beef mixture into a 9" round pie dish or square baking dish. Spoon the potato mixture over the top and smooth out. Place in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly golden brown. Makes approximately 4 servings.