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Shepherd’s Pie

Believe it or not but I had never eaten Sheherd’s Pie (nor Cottage Pie which I learned is what we in North America refer to Shepherd’s Pie as; traditional Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb and Cottage Pie is made with beef) but I wanted to.  Then one day my friend asked me if I had a recipe for it and sadly, I didn’t.  Enough procrastinating I thought to myself and I set out to come up with an incredibly delicious, healthy Shepherd’s (err, Cottage) Pie.  This is what I came up with, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Serves 6 to 8

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

500 g Extra lean ground beef

227 g White button mushrooms, sliced

1 Medium onion, diced

1 Small carrot, diced

1 Stalk of celery, diced

3 Cloves of garlic, crushed

2 Cups beef stock

½ Beef bouillon cube

1 Sprig rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped

5 Sprigs thyme, leaves only

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp cold water

1 Cup peas (fresh if you have but I used frozen)

½ Cup corn (again, fresh if you have but I used frozen)

Salt

Pepper

Potato Topping:

5 Medium potatoes (I used white), peeled

½ Cup Beef Stock

½ Cup 1% Buttermilk

Salt

Pepper

–  If you have a cast iron skillet or an oven safe skillet, use that.  Otherwise use a large frying pan and then you can assemble the Shepherd’s Pie in a casserole dish.

–  Heat the oil in the skillet, when it’s hot (it will ripple) add the beef; season with salt and pepper.

–  Brown the beef and when it is completely cooked, strain it and set aside.

–  Return the pan to the heat and add the mushrooms, onion, carrot, and celery to the pan; season with salt and pepper.

–  When the veggies are cooked (the mushrooms have given off their liquid and the onions are soft and translucent), add the garlic.  Sauté for about 30 seconds, careful to not let the garlic burn.

–  Add the stock and stir in the bullion.

–  Add the thyme and rosemary.

–  Let the mixture simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

–  Meanwhile start boiling the potatoes.  When the potatoes are fork tender, strain them and return them to the pot they were cooked in.

–  Add the stock and buttermilk, mash together until the potatoes are completely smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

–  Preheat your oven to 375.

–  Mix the cornstarch and water together, mix to remove any lumps.

–  Turn the heat on the pan to where the beef mixture is boiling.

–  Add the cornstarch mixture; mix well.

–  Turn the heat off the pan.

–  Add the peas and corn.

–  Season with salt and pepper.

–  Taste the beef mixture and the mashed potatoes and adjust the seasoning on both.

–  Top the beef mixture evenly with the mashed potatoes.

–  Bake for 45-50 minutes, until top is slightly browned.

–  Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. Feel free to use extra lean turkey or chicken in place of beef.
  2. This could be prepared ahead of time, just reserve baking the assembled Shepherd’s Pie until the day you are serving it.

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