Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mary had a little lamb (and potatoes and carrots and....)


Photo: Tina Rupp,


Have you ever heard of Shepherd's pie? Shepherd's pie is, simply put, leftovers--reinvented with a bit of necessity and a healthy measure of frugality. 

In years gone by, Sunday dinner centered around a roast. On Monday, you ate roast again, but cold this time. Tuesday the leftovers were chopped/minced finely and reinvented as "pie". (And after that dinners for the remainder of the week went decidedly downhill).

Shepherd's pie was so named because the meat used was lamb (or probably mutton). But now it can contain any type of meat.


Shepherds Pie

  • 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/2  cup  milk
  • 2  tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 4  cups  ground beef or ground turkey*
  • 1  large carrot, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1  celery stalk, sliced (1 cup)
  • 2  tablespoons  flour
  • 2  cups  chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  frozen peas
  • 2 cups sliced mushroom
Heat oven to 400 F. In a saucepan, gently heat mashed potatoes and milk, stirring occasionally, until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. (If using leftover meatloaf you don't need to cook and brown for 5-7 minutes. Just a minute or two to heat is sufficient).

Add carrot and celery, and cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle in flour, stir, then add chicken broth. Simmer 3 minutes and remove from heat. Add peas and mushrooms. Spoon into an ovenproof casserole and top with the mashed potatoes. Bake until the top is golden, about 40 minutes.

*In place of ground meat you can substitute 4 cups of chopped leftover roast or meatloaf

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