Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A New Take on Shepherd's Pie

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?

A New Take on Shepherd's Pie
I realized that my other beef dishes were now far more complex in flavor, with more vegetables, wine and stock so that the very basic shepherd's pie had become uninteresting.

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!



Ingredients
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

A New Take on Shepherd's Pie
In a large skillet, brown the beef using a wooden spoon or spatula to break it up. Add the onion, garlic, celery, peas, carrots, thyme, tomato paste, red wine, beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Season and continue cooking until the sauce is reduced. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly while you make the potato topping.

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.

25 comments:

  1. Looks delicious! I actually haven't even made the traditional one..

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  2. I love that you re-tooled a classic, you should bring me a piece to try :P

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  3. Can you believe I've never made shephard's pie?

    After seeing this...I'm not going to deny myself any longer!

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  4. I've only attempted to make Shepherd's Pie once, and it turned out so bland and boring that I have been wary of making it again. But with additions like red wine and more aromatics (like yours!) I could perhaps brave this dish again. :D Yum!

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  5. It's been on my culinary bucket list too but I haven't gotten around to it. Thank you for sharing because I can now learn from your experience!

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  6. I love shepherd's pie and so does my family! It was one of my first posts :)

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  7. Love Shepherds Pie so much. This looks really amazing. Always fun to amp up the taste on it.

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  8. I like that you stepped it up a notch with this....I really love Sheperd's Pie but I agree that sometimes it just seems boring. This recipe sounds so full of flavor!

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  9. My brother and I were awful when we were little about eating. Nothing like this would fly...too many foods touching. Much to my dad's dismay Shepard's pie disappeared from the dinner menu till we were in college. I had this for the first time not long after graduating. Love it. Ops!

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  10. This looooooooks delishhhhhhhhamunda! I saw it on pinterest pinned it and then realized it was yours! Looks so good! I love shepherds pie

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  11. Anita, your Shepherd's pie is gorgeous...piled high with the white and sweet potatoes, and the yummy cheddar cheese. I will make it your way from now, on; although I usually make this in the fall and winter season. Who says that this delicious comfort food can't be made all year round?!
    Thanks for sharing! xo

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  12. That may be the best looking shepherd's pic I've seen. yum!

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  13. that is one mouthwatering shepherd's pie! awesome job!

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  14. Since I am married to a Brit, shepherds' pie is on high rotation but only after having a lamb or beef roast for a Sunday dinner. Well, Saturday now that we are in Cairo and my weekend has changed days. After sandwiches for the lunch the next day or two, all the leftover meat is chopped up for the shepherds' pie and then my recipe looks remarkably like yours. Which looks delicious!

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  15. I love shepherd's pie and haven't had it in ages. I could totally sub out the potatoes for mashed cauliflower ... win/win, I think :-)

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  16. I haven't had shepherd's pie in forever! Which is crazy because it is so easy to make and delicious! I'm so happy you shared it at Foodie Friends Friday!!

    Robyn from Robyn's View

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  17. Love shepherd's pie. thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday and remember to come and vote for your favorite recipes.
    http://marlys-thisandthat.blogspot.com

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  18. Perhaps it's different in the US, but in the UK we only call it a shepherd's pie if it's made withe minced lamb. When made with beef, we call it a cottage pie :-)

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  19. Looks delicious! Thank you for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday!

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  20. MMM! I would love this yummy dish. Thanks so much for linking up at Weekend Potluck.

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  21. Shepherds Pie was always one of my favorite school lunches (I'm sure I would think differently now) - but you're right, the new additions make it so much more appealing!

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  22. I love Shepard's pie, this one looks delicious. The weather may be perfect this week to get this on our menu.

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  23. I love Shepherd's Pie and yours looks delicious. Wonder why I'v enever tried to make one on my own....you've inspired me. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Been making it this way for years already!

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