Shepherd’s Pie is, simply put, a scrumptious meat pie with a heavenly brown crust of mashed potato. The beauty of it is that, aside from carrots and onions, just about any vegetable can be chopped up for the filling; this makes it a great dish for all sorts of veggies that need to be used up! It’s also a good way to make veggies more appetizing for children, and introduce them—and some adults—to a few they might not ordinarily try (like rutabagas).
- 1 pound ground pork or beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into small cubes
- 2 rutabagas (or turnips) cut into small cubes
- 1 bunch chopped greens such as kale or spinach, or ½ small shredded cabbage, or 2 bulbs fennel, cored and sliced (optional)
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce or 1 tbsp mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper (or use chili flakes)
- 1 cup water or broth
- 1½ pounds potatoes quartered
- 4 tbsp (½ stick) butter softened
- ½ cup milk
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- Sauté the meat in a skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes until it has browned, making sure to break the meat up as it cooks.
- When the meat has released its fat, add the onion, carrots, rutabagas, greens (if using), Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water, stir, and simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring them to a boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until quite soft. Drain and mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the meat and vegetable mixture in a large ovenproof dish and cover it evenly with the mashed potatoes. Finish by drawing a fork across the top of the potatoes in the pattern of your choice. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to brown and the mixture is hot throughout.
— Philippe Waterinckx, Tucson CSA, Tucson, Arizona
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