Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

My brother and sister in law just had their 3rd baby a few weeks ago... she is just too cute for words, I managed to still some time with her today and holding her was just heaven! Before her birth, my sister in law asked me to make a meal for them to freeze and have on hand. She sent a few recipes my way and requested the Shepherd's Pie. I have not had it before, really wasn't all to sure how it would turn out... and to be honest I was sort of expecting it to be um ..whats the word, oh is... um yuk. So when I made it yesterday for them, I was sure to save myself a portion to have for dinner tonight. I am now kicking myself that I didn't save more! It was absolutely fabulous... I will, without question, be whipping this one up again.
Shepherd's Pie-

1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, quartered and rinsed
1/2 c. reserved cooking water from potatoes or milk
2 tbsp butter
Ground white pepper
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c. carrot, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 Tbsp. flour
3/4 c. beef or vegetable stock
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary, crushed
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2. c frozen peas
2 tbsp butter

Put potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender. Drain and mash, then add 1/2 cup reserved cooking water or milk, butter, and salt and pepper to taste and stir/mash until smooth. (I imagine you could also use store-bought mashed potatoes instead of making your own.)
While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; cook until softened. Add meat, cook until thoroughly done. Add flour; cook 2-3 minutes. Add stock, spices and peas. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Place meat mixture in 9-in pie plate or 8 x 8 baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Cut the 2 T. of butter into small pieces and scatter across the top. Cover and freeze.
Take out of freezer and thaw in refrigerator 24-36 hours before you plan to eat. Preheat the over to 400. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Gluten-free adaption: Use gluten-free all-purpose flour in place of regular flour.
Dairy-free adaption: Use cooking water or unsweetened soy milk for potatoes. Use non-dairy butter in place of regular butter.

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