I love veggies and mashed potatoes, so Shepherd’s Pie seems like a good fit for me. Mashed potatoes are not really in my diet anymore, so I don’t make this too often. It’s a treat when I do.
I think Shepherd’s Pie is as much a method as a recipe. It’s a veggie/meat base with gravy, topped with mashed potatoes.
The vegetables can be altered in endless ways, and the meat can too, or be omitted, as in this recipe. One task I do ahead of time is roast the carrots in the oven (or use leftover cooked carrots from a previous meal.)
Here’s how we do it in the Ballpark.
Mashed Potato “Frosting”
6-8 medium potatoes, chunked and boiled until soft. (You can peel, or not.) The amount of potatoes determines how thick your mashed potato “frosting” will be.
3 parsnips, peeled and chunked, same size as potatoes. Boil the parsnips with the potatoes.
3/4 C. milk
S and P, as desired
3-4 T. chopped chives
1-2 C. grated cheddar (I usually use 1 and 1/2 C.)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Drain cooked potatoes and parsnips and return to the hot pan. Add milk, chives, seasoning. Hand mash to desired consistency. (NOTE: If an electric mixer is used, potatoes can become gummy.) Stir in cheddar. When potatoes are no longer hot, stir in beaten egg. Set aside.
3-4 T. olive oil
6 carrots, peeled and sliced in bite-size pieces. Toss carrots with some olive oil, S and P, and then roast in oven until softened a bit, about 20 minutes.
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 large Portobello mushroom caps, washed and chopped (however many you like)
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, then quartered lengthwise, then chopped
Bok choy, sliced, as much as desired (Bok choy is a good anti-inflammatory veggie.)
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
Half a bag baby kale (or spinach, if preferred)
Optional: frozen corn, green beans, Lima beans
Worcestershire sauce: several dashes – to 1/4 C. Start out with a few shakes, and add more as needed to create the flavor you desire.
1/2 C. veggie stock
3 T. butter
3. T. flour
In a large skillet, saute veggies with the olive oil until tender-crisp. You do not want them fully cooked, as they will bake more in the oven. Add Worcestershire sauce and the stock and bring to a boil. In a small pan, over low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 min. and then stir into the sauce to thicken. Add any frozen veggies at this point and give them a minute to thaw and incorporate. Stir in roasted carrots.
This is where you decide if the sauce is the consistency you desire. If it’s too thin, repeat the butter/flour step. If it’s too thick, add a bit more stock. When you are happy with your “gravy”, transfer the veggie mix into a greased casserole dish.
Top with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with parsley, paprika and more cheddar, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and potatoes are golden, about 20 minutes. (Everything is cooked, you’re just heating the entire dish.)
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Scarf it up! This reheats well in the microwave later as well.