Grown-up Shepard’s Pie

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shepards-pieI loved Shepard’s Pie as a child and now that i have grown up i have modified the ingredients to suit my more grown up tastes.  The best part about this dish is that it is a one course meal.  This recipe also makes a large pan so it would be great to make for guests! It takes a little assembly time but it is well worth your effort!


2 lbs ground sirloin (can substitute ground chuck)
1 large onion chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
3 carrots peeled and chopped
1 large zucchini chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoons sugar
1 can 14 1/2 oz. fire roasted or stewed chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon flour

Potato topping:

3 leeks
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic (peeled and chopped)
6 to 8 yellow or red potatoes (not baking potatoes)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup grated cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Base Directions:

To save on messing up so many dishes, I like to use a pan that can go from stove top to oven .  Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until meat is no longer pink.  Drain and remove from pan.  In the same pan saute the carrots, celery and zucchini  in 1 tablespoon olive oil until crisp tender. Return meat mixture to the pan and add remaining base ingredients and simmer over low heat.

Potato Topping Directions:

Cut green ends off leeks.  Cut leeks in half  lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Chop leeks and saute with garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt, just a pinch. Meanwhile peel rinse and chop potatoes and place in a pan using just enough water to cover them.  Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and boil for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Drain.  Mash potatoes with butter, milk, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add dried parsley, cheese and leeks. Stir until combined. Gently place potatoes on top of meat mixture and smoothing out the surface.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, just until heated through.

~Marsha Bradford

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