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March Recipe of the Month

Shepherd’s Pie

INGREDIENTS

SHEPHERD’S PIE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.25 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces baby bella or white button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (or you can sub in more beef stock instead)
  • 2 cups beef stock (or vegetable or chicken stock)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme (or whatever herbs you love)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 batch mashed potatoes (see below)

    MASHED POTATO INGREDIENTS:

  • 2.5 pounds potatoes (either Russets, Yukon golds, or a mix of the two)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, or more as needed
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (or 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt)
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cook the mashed potatoes.  Follow the instructions here to prepare a half batch of this mashed potatoes recipe.  Once the mashed potatoes are ready to go, remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
  • Brown the beef (or lamb).  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the ground beef (or lamb) and cook until browned, crumbling it with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  Transfer the cooked beef to a separate plate with a wooden spoon and set aside, reserving any grease in the sauté pan that it has left behind.  (Or if there is no leftover grease, add an extra tablespoon of oil to the pan.)
  • Sauté the veggies.  Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic and sauté for 5-7 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Add in the flour and wine.  Stir the flour in with the veggie mixture until evenly combined, then continue to sauté for 1 minute more, stirring frequently.  Stir in the wine, then use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the remaining sauce ingredients.  Immediately stir in the stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, herb sprigs and frozen peas until combined.  Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a low simmer, and continue cooking for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove and discard the bay leaves and herb sprigs.  Stir in the cooked meat  Taste and season the mixture with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Layer it all up.  Transfer the filling mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and spread it out in an even layer.  Spoon the mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread them out in an even layer as well.
  • Bake.  Bake uncovered at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly golden and the filling has started to bubble up around the edges.  (If you would like the potatoes to be a bit more browned, you can turn on the broiler for 1 or 2 extra minutes, keeping a close eye on the potatoes so that they do not burn.)
  • Garnish and serve.  Remove the baking dish from the oven, sprinkle a few extra herbs on top if you would like, then dish up your servings while the shepherd’s pie is still nice and warm.  Or store the pie in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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