31 January, 2017
Shepherd’s Pie Without The Herd of Sheep
Shepherd’s pie is not in the rotation of often fixed recipes at our house. In fact, I don’t think I’ve made it while we’ve lived in Oregon and that’s been 11 years. It’s not that I don’t like it, or that it is too ubiquitous, I just never think to make it. NOTE: I stole the word “ubiquitous” from Jamie Oliver’s post and just had to use it.
Since I don’t know much about British comfort food, I found Jamie Oliver’s blog 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Shepherd’s Pie fascinating. Apparently several countries have their own version of this dish.
This version has common ingredients, a few steps to assemble, and delivers a rich flavor that hits the mark for comfort food in my book.
- 1 1⁄4 pounds uncooked potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (red, Yukon gold, russet)
- 1 teaspoon table salt, divided
- 1 medium uncooked scallions, finely chopped
- 2⁄3 cups milk (fat free skim or 2% or whole milk, whatever you have in your fridge)
- 1 pinch black pepper (I'm a little heavier in my pinches of black pepper)
- 3⁄4 pound uncooked lean ground beef
- 1 small uncooked onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium uncooked carrots, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic herb seasoning (I didn't have this spice and couldn't find it in the store so I just added another clove of garlic and a few dashes of seasoning salt)
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1 1⁄4 cups frozen cut green beans, thawed (I used fresh cooked green beans)
- 6 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese (can use fat free or low fat cheese if desired)
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray 1-quart baking dish, pie plate, or six 6-oz ramekins with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place potatoes in a saucepan; add enough water to cover them and stir in 1/4 tsp salt.
- Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and return to saucepan; stir in scallions, milk, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
- Mash with a potato masher until somewhat smooth; set aside.
- Meanwhile, coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat.
- Add beef, onion, carrot, garlic, garlic seasoning and remaining 1/2 tsp salt; sauté, breaking up beef, until onions are translucent and carrots are just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in tomato sauce; remove from heat.
- Layer beef mixture into baking dish. Add a layer of green beans and a layer of mashed potatoes.
- Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.
- If using ramekins, spoon about 1/2 cup beef mixture into each ramekin. Top each with a layer of green beans and a layer of mashed potatoes; sprinkle each with a tablespoon of cheese. Bake as directed above.
First layer in meat mixture
Add green beans on top of meat.
Top with potatoes and cheese.
When I was researching recipes for this blog I loved the line from Delish “Herd of sheep not included.” The recipe listed on Delish is different from the one I chose for this blog but looks equally good. I didn’t have time to taste test them all – although hubby was willing to give it a try! Delish recipe is listed below and can be printed.
- Cooking spray, for muffin tin
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 2 lb. sheets refrigerated pie crust
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 1 c. frozen or canned corn
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 c. low-sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 c. prepared mashed potatoes
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375º and coat a muffin tin with cooking spray. Lightly flour a work surface. Using a glass, cut pie crust into rounds for your muffin tin. Place pie crust in each cup and gently press down.
- Bake until lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Heat broiler.
- Meanwhile, make beef mixture: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrots, and garlic and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 5 minutes more. Drain fat.
- Stir in frozen peas and corn and cook until warmed through, 3 minutes more.
- Move mixture to one side of skillet and melt butter in empty side. Add flour and whisk until combined and golden, 1 minute, then pour in beef broth.
- Combine with mixture and cook until thickened, 3 minutes.
- Fill baked pie crusts with ground beef mixture and top with a big spoonful of mashed potatoes.
- Broil until golden, 5 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.