Hearty Shepherd’s Pie

Been cold for several days: I think we all are craving warm comfort food.  I made this several weeks ago for company and it was a big hit. We had it again last weekend for Joe’s birthday (he loves it for his special meal every year!) The potato crust is satisfying and the gravy chock full of meat and veggies is richly flavored.  This is an Alton Brown recipe with a few minor changes.  I added red wine, more veggies and I sometimes leave the egg out when I make the potato crust.   The red wine makes the gravy taste perfect. Plus I used different meat and changed the flour to make it a gf choice.

I know the list of ingredients might seem a bit daunting but it does go together fast. Just chop all the veggies first and brown the ground meat while your potatoes cook.  We had homegrown potatoes for the crust for that company meal; oh so flavorful and homegrown peas and local corn in the filling.  Yumm!  The leftovers made a great lunch.  Sure warms the tummy on a chilly day.

I used a bit over a pound of meatloaf mix and some ground turkey meat.  Another time it was ground chuck with a touch of meatloaf mix.  The traditional meat is ground lamb; also tasty.  You can use plain ground beef or even just ground turkey.  All work fine.  I also have a recipe for a vegetarian shepherd’s pie full of veggies with amazing gravy!

curry, shepherds pie, banana cream pie 019curry, shepherds pie, banana cream pie 020

curry, shepherds pie, banana cream pie 021

curry, shepherds pie, banana cream pie 027Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

For the potatoes:
2 pounds russet potatoes
1/3 cup half-and-half
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk (optional)
For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or meatloaf mix
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons rice flour
2-3 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth

½ cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup fresh or frozen English peas
Directions

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the meat and gravy mixture, stir for a few moments. If it seems very thick with really no gravy, add up to 1/2 cup water to thin it a bit (it will get thicker as it bakes) and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. I have a lovely oval ceramic casserole Joe gave me that is perfect for shepherd’s pie.  Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. curry, shepherds pie, banana cream pie 028

I searched long for a good recipe that had corn in it as that was what my guy wanted, I was dubious but this is such a tasty mixture I am a convert to corn in my shepherd’s pie!

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2008, foodnetwork.com

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/shepherds-pie-recipe2.print.html?oc=linkback

Yummy Lemon Sauced Turkey Meatballs

lentil stew, turkey meatballs 006

Okay, it is still winter and pretty cold but spring looms with daylight savings time beginning plus I am a tiny bit weary of posting soups.  I do enjoy other sorts of food you know! There is this recipe I’ve been making for years. The other day I was chowing down my lunch and someone said, “What is that lovely roasty smell?” and I was able to say with a smile that it was my turkey meatballs with lemon gravy.

They are not fancy; the recipe, which I tore out of a woman’s magazine a decade ago, said they are supposed to replace regular meatballs as healthier but I just like them for their homey taste and the excellent sauce!  You can also make them with ground chicken; very good as well. I never seem to have enough sauce so you could make even more of that and be happy with the amount.  I used to have them over noodles all the time but now that I am gf I occasionally use white or brown rice, both work very well with this sauce.  I am guessing quinoa would be nice as well.

It is the lemon that makes them taste so good but I also like the carrot and scallions in the sauce.  Home flavors and pretty healthy, this is a satisfying meal with a starch and a veggie added on.  And you can put it together in 30 minutes. Perfect for a week night supper.

lentil stew, turkey meatballs 002lentil stew, turkey meatballs 003lentil stew, turkey meatballs 004lentil stew, turkey meatballs 005

Lemon Sauced Turkey Meatballs

1 lb ground turkey

1 medium onion, minced

1 large egg

¼-1/3 cup gf bread or cracker crumbs

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce.

½-3/4 tsp. lemon zest

½ tsp sea salt and same of pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup plain low fat or full fat yogurt

2 tbsp. gf flour of your choice

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 carrot grated fine

2 scallions chopped into small rounds

1/3 cup celery leaves chopped fine, optional

Directions:

Mix the meatballs up in a large mixing bowl; dump in the ground turkey, add the onion, crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, sea salt, pepper to taste and egg.  Mix until fairly well distributed. Form into 12-16 meatballs.

Heat the oil in a wide Teflon or cast iron pan.  Add the meatballs.  Brown them on all sides, turning carefully with a spatula and a fork. When browned add the broth and cover.  Cook 12-15 minutes, add up to ½ cup more broth if needed; there should be at least ½ cup left when they are cooked.  Add the flour to the yogurt, stir and add to the pan.  Add the lemon juice and stir in the carrot, celery if using it, and the white parts of the scallions.  Cook 2-3 minutes.  Add the rest of the scallions and stir.  If it seems too thick add some more chicken broth.  I like this new concentrate I found; by Kitchen Accomplice, makes 28 cups, it is a small squeeze bottle of liquid. Very handy and GF.  Perfect when you need less than 15 ounces of broth.

choco chip muffin, leekpotato soup 004

 

Serve the meatballs and sauce over rice or noodles. I have been experimenting lately and served a topping of pickled red onions; really nice zingy addition…up to you.  For that I cut up part of a red onion and top with cider vinegar to cover, let stand at least 30 minutes. Will keep overnight in fridge.  It is a fun topper on salads too.

Warm Up to Shepherd’s Pie

So cold right now, I think we all are craving warm comfort food.  I made this last week for company and it was a big hit.  The potato crust is satisfying and the gravy chock full of meat and veggies is richly flavored and addictive.  This is an Alton brown recipe with a few minor changes.  I added red wine, more veggies and I left the egg out when I made the potato crust.   The red wine makes the gravy taste perfect. Plus I changed the flour to make it a gf choice.

new baby pix 001

I know the list of ingredients might be daunting but it does go together fast. Just chop all the veggies first and brown the ground meat while your potatoes cook.  We had home grown potatoes for the crust; oh so flavorful and homegrown peas and local corn in the filling.  Yumm!  The leftover made a great lunch the next day.  Sure warms the tummy on a chilly chilly day.

I used a bit over a pound of meatloaf mix and some ground turkey meat.  You can use ground beef or even turkey.  All work fine.  I also have a recipe for a vegetarian shepherd’s pie full of veggies with amazing gravy!

I meant to take more pictures while I made this but forgot; next time….

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

For the potatoes:
2 pounds russet potatoes
1/3 cup half-and-half
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk (optional)
For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or meatloaf mix
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons rice flour
2-3 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth

½ cup dry red wine

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen peas
Directions

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to a simmer and cook until tender and easily pierced, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a glass cup and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 30 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until combined.  I did not add the yolk and it wasn’t missed.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to soften, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the meat, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and stir, cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, wine, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer slowly 11 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the meat mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish.  I used a lovely oval ceramic dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting along the edges and filling in, get it all the way to the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a spatula. Place on a sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2008 with some changes.  Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/shepherds-pie-