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My husband, for whatever reason, asked me to make Shepherd’s Pie.

Not something I normally do, but I’ve always wanted to try this dish-at least try to make it as comforting as it sounds and yet, as usual for me, make it healthier!

Call me the “Bobby Dean” of the house.

Now Shepherd’s Pie is basically an English type casserole.  The traditional is made with either leftover roasted lamb that has been chopped or ground lamb.  It usually has peas and carrots mixed in with some gravy, then topped with mashed potatoes (sometimes with cheddar cheese mixed in) and then baked until hot, bubbly and golden brown.

I do love lamb-sparingly.  It’s a high fat red meat.  By now you know, I’m not one for either description in my food.  And by now, you also know that my husband is all about the meat.

How to compromise?

First off-swap the lamb for either ground turkey or ground chicken-mix it, if you’d like.

Here’s what I came up with, feeds about 4-6:

1-1/2 lbs. peeled and quartered potatoes.
6 tbsps. EVOO, split
1 med. sweet onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 lg. carrot, diced
1 C mushrooms, cut in similar sizes to the onion and carrot
1 C frozen peas (gasp, frozen!)
1 lb. cooked ground chicken/turkey-make sure to drain that fat!
1 tbsp. flour
3/4 C chicken or veg stock
1 tbsp. both thyme and rosemary.
pinch of nutmeg.
Salt and pepper to taste.

pre-heat oven to 350

place potatoes in a pot, cover w/ cold water w/ about 1 tbsp. salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and then simmer until fork tender-15 minutes.  Save 1/2 C water and drain thoroughly.  Mash with 2 tbsp. EVOO (okay, you can switch this to butter, but I like the peppery taste of the olive oil), reserved water, S & P to taste.  Make them fluffy!

Heat 3 tblsp. EVOO in a large frying pan, add the veggies (except the peas)and “sweat” for about 15 minutes, until all are soft. increase the heat to med. and add the cooked meat and heat thoroughly.

Add the flour and stir for about 2-3 minutes.  Add the stock and simmer, stirring occasionally until the gravy forms. remove from heat and stir in the peas.

Cool slightly.  Pour meat/veggie mixture into about a 9×13 cake pan, top with potatoes and drizzle with remaing oil (you should have about 1 tbsp.!) and place in oven.  bake until nice and brown-approx. 35 minutes.  Cool slightly before cutting!

Since it’s even chilly here in the great SouthWest-this is sure to warm and fill everyone.  Serve with a side salad or crusty bread.

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