Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is one of my husband's favorite dishes. It's a warming and hearty meal that is delicious, not only on St. Patrick's Day, but also during all the cold months of winter. Since my husband loves this dish so much, I wanted to create a version of the dish that would be lighter and still delicious. I decided to load my recipe with lots of vegetables, extra-lean grass-fed beef and a gravy made from organic vegetable broth. The mashed potatoes that top the dish are mixed up with just a little bit of butter and some fat free sour cream to round out the flavor. I like to top the whole dish with some shredded cheese. Since I don't want to use a lot of cheese, I like to use an extra-sharp cheddar so that I can get more flavor from less cheese. The result is hearty and satisfying. All your meat, potatoes and vegetables are in one dish. Just add some fruit and bread and you have a well-balanced, delicious meal.

Shepherd's Pie

for the mashed potatoes:

6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

enough water to cover the potatoes in a large pot

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream

4 tbsp. skim milk

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

 

for the filling:

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced

2 stalks of celery, sliced

6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

1 lb. extra-lean, grass-fed ground beef

1 c. frozen corn kernels, partially defrosted

1 c. frozen peas, partially defrosted

1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes, no salt added

16 oz. organic vegetable broth, no msg and reduced sodium

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tbsp. cornstarch plus 2 tbsp. cold water

2 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

 

Step 1: start by getting your potatoes ready to be made into mashed potatoes. Add the potatoes, salt and enough water to cover the potatoes in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your chopped potatoes. The potatoes are done when a fork can easily pierce them.

Step 2: start working on the filling part of the dish by prepping all your of your vegetables. Wash, peel and chopping the garlic, onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Also measure out your frozen corn and peas and set them aside so that they can partially defrost before you use them.

Step 3: heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.

Step 4: add the ground beef and continue to cook the mixture until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 5: add the corn, peas, tomatoes, black pepper and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

Step 6: make "gravy". Stir 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of cold water until it is completely combined. Then stir the cornstarch liquid to the boiling broth and vegetable mixture. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. The vegetable broth will thicken up into a glossy gravy-like liquid.

Step 7: make mashed potatoes. Drain the cooked potatoes and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Mix the potatoes for 30 seconds to break them apart then add the butter, sour cream and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix on a medium speed until the potatoes are completely mashed. Stir in the salt, pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk, using more or less depending on the thickness of the mashed potatoes.

Step 8: assemble the dish. Pour the beef and vegetable mixture into a 9 by 13 baking dish. Drop large heaping spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes on top, scattered all over the dish. Carefully spread the potatoes out until the top of the beef and vegetable mixture is covered with mashed potatoes. Lastly, sprinkle on the shredded cheese and place in a preheated 350°F oven. Bake uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the dish is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional information per serving:

320 Calories

9 g. fat

5 g. saturated fat

45 mg. cholesterol

468 mg. sodium

39 g. carbohydrates

6 g. fiber

7 g. sugar

19 g. protein