Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate comfort food. Yeah, I know, you’re thinking “No, it’s not. Macaroni and Cheese is”. Well, we could arm wrestle over it, but for me, meat and potatoes will beat pasta every single day. Plus, add some green veggies to it, and it turns into health food. Can’t beat that. This is a very versatile recipe, and is perfect for using up leftovers. I personally use leftover roast from my Garlic Pork Roast, or Pot Roast. If you don’t have leftovers, it’s till very tasty using ground beef or ground turkey. Heck, you can use leftover turkey from thanksgiving, and your kids will love you! I also use leftover vegetables, my kids prefer corn and green beans. If you don’t have leftovers, cook up some frozen or fresh veggies. You can use canned, if you must.
1 lb. ground beef or turkey, or leftover shredded roast.
2 cups assorted cooked vegetables: green beans, carrots or corn.
4 TBS butter
4 TBS flour
2 cups beef broth, or broth from cooking the roast.
4-5 cups mashed potatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook ground meat, if using, until brown. Spread meat (either the ground meat, or leftover roast) into a 9×13 pan. Spread vegetables on top of the meat. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add the flour and cook while whisking until light brown (you are making a Roux). Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition, removing all lumps before adding more broth (click on roux link for additional help). When all of the broth is added, whisk continually until thick. Pour over the meat and veggies. Spread mashed potatoes on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
REAL food alert: Many canned and boxed stocks and broths have preservatives or MSG. Double check the ingredients list to make sure there are no ingredients you aren’t comfortable with. Better yet, Make your own broth, or use the liquid from cooking the roast.
ALLERGY alert: This can be made gluten-free by subbing gluten-free flour. If the gravy does not sufficiently thicken, use 1 TBS cornstarch+ 3 TBS cold water, and add it while the gravy is boiling. Stir until thick. Be sure you double check your stock/broth to make sure it’s gluten-free. This can be made dairy-free by subbing 100% vegetable margarine or oil for the butter.
VEGGIE alert: You could make this vegetarian by using veggie broth, and subbing the meat for cooked beans. Make it vegan by also subbing the butter for oil or 100% vegetable margarine.
For a freezer meal, assemble everything except mashed potatoes. cover snugly with heavy foil. Freeze. To serve, defrost and top with mashed potatoes.