Shepherd's Pie

Good lord...this shepherd's pie is the stuff of dreams.

Whoever in Ireland created the original recipe...let’s all make it our business to find their ancestors, kiss them squarely on the lips, apologize for kissing them squarely on the lips, and thank them dearly for their contribution to humanity.

On a particularly ho-hum Saturday of late, one in which the day's activities consisted of golf, laundry, grocery shopping, and crossword puzzle-tackling, my husband and I decided to stay in for the evening.  Just us two, a couple of cocktails, and a meal that I used my hands to make instead of going (or sending him) out for.

I'm starting not to recognize us.

Not to mention this was just before I FORCED him to watch The Shining On Demand (instead of Netflix's What to Expect When You're Expecting) because he had never seen it before.  And because I was not in the mood for a rom-com where Cameron Diaz sports a muscle-y bod and marble-sized baby bump with no hint of a double chin whatsoever, and where Brooklyn Decker literally gives birth by way of a sneeze.  Again, who are we lately?

(But seriously, who's never see the Shining??  He needed to be "corrected".)

Shepherd's pie is not totally considered "healthy food".  Er, actually not at all.  The thing about this hearty dish is that it gets a bad rap because of the amount of cream and cheese and butter "needed" to make it delicious.

Resisting the urge to mash your sweet potatoes with butter and heavy cream can be hard.  HARD with caps lock jammed.  But this recipe for "healthy" shepherd's pie made with lean beef, loads of veggies, and lightened-up sweet potatoes filled me up on a stay-in Saturday night like nothing else.  Not pizza, not Chinese food, not even the all-you-can eat sushi buffet.*

*I’d be willing to give this one another shot.

Sometimes it feels right to stay in on a Saturday night and recharge.  Sometimes it feels right to forgo the takeout and make your own comfort food.  And sometimes it feels right to scare yourself silly even though your snuggle-buddy is incredulous.

"Oh my God, can she NOT run like that?"
                       -Husband's reaction to Shelley Duvall with a knife

Shepherd's Pie
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
Yields 6 servings

1 lb sweet potatoes (about 3 large), washed and cut into chunks
1 tbs butter
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 96% fat free)
1 tbs canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c fat-free, low-sodium beef broth
1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tbs fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 c frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 425 deg F.
Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted, cold water, and bring to a boil.  Cover, and continue to simmer for 15-17 minutes or until fork tender.  Drain and return to the pot.  Mash with the butter, cheese, and salt/pepper.  Set aside.

In a large, oven-proof Dutch oven or skillet sprayed with cooking spray, cook the beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spoon until no longer pink, about 8 minutes.  Transfer meat to a colander, and drain well.  Set aside.

In the same skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and carrot, and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic, and cook 2 more minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the broth, tomatoes, rosemary, and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the reserved beef, peas, and some additional salt/pepper, and cook 2 minutes until warmed through.

Spread the mashed sweet potatoes over the top of the meat mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

1 comment:

Heidi Szczepanski said...

Great recipe. This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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