Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This one comes from the Engine 2 web site and is called Fast Food Shepherd's Pie and was included with the Thanksgiving recipes pasted last November.

Most shepherd's pie recipes have you standing at the counter chopping and chopping a dozen or more pieces of veggies, trying to get carrots, potatoes and celery into tiny little diced pieces. This recipe is similar to Jeff Novick's Fast Food recipes in that it relies on frozen vegetables, including the potatoes for the topping.


Fast Food: Shepherds Pie

Mashed potatoes: The quick and easy way – boil cubed potatoes, when they are done, put them in a bowl and mash them up. Want to get fancy? Add a tiny unsweetened non-dairy milk and a little nutritional yeast.
Frozen or pre-cooked (low sodium) lentils (3 small bags or 2 packages)
Frozen spinach
Frozen vegetable mix (peas/carrots)
Veg. Poultry Seasoning
1/4 jar of tomato plant-strong tomato sauce
Pre-heat oven to 350
In a nonstick large baking dish layer the following:
1 layer tomato sauce
1 layer lentils
1 layer vegetable mix
1 layer spinach
Sprinkle poultry season over entire dish
1 layer of mashed potatoes
Bake for 30 minutes, covered. Use a parchment lined aluminum foil for best results.

I didn't bother with a photo - you've seen one shepherd's pie you've seen them all. A mashed-potato topped casserole dish - whoopie.

My changes:
I had half a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes leftover from Sunday's Maple Mustard Glazed Potatoes and used those instead of frozen to make the mashed. I did add nooch and 2 cubes of Dorot's frozen garlic into the hot potatoes. 

I used one 8-ounce can of no-salt added tomato sauce instead of jarred pasta sauce.

I've been keeping cooked-from-scratch lentils in the freezer lately and defrosted one bag of them for this recipe. Each bag contains the amount found in one can, 1 1/2 cups. Next time I might use 2.

I used only half a bag of frozen spinach and a small bag of peas & carrots. I might double these next time, too. 

Why the doubling? The dish, as is, made enough for the 2 of us for one meal with no leftovers, yet we were both looking for more food. Since yesterday was one of my husband's mandatory overtime days we were eating late (Which is probably why we were so hungry), I didn't bother looking for anything else to cook and ended the meal there. He had his usual sleeve of fig cookies and some potato chips soon after dinner and I just went to bed hungry.

One other problem with the meal - the veggies were still a bit cool and uncooked. This really needed to be cooked for an hour, not 30 minutes. I wound up putting what was on our plates back into the casserole dish and popping it into the microwave for 15 minutes. It was quicker than pre-heating the oven again and popping it in there for another half hour.

It was a very delicious meal and very fast to put together. I put the potatoes on, got all the veggies gathered up and into the casserole dish, and by the time I tossed the empty bags into the garbage, put the rest away and shook the spices onto the casserole, the potatoes were ready to be drained and mashed. Just plan on doubling EVERYTHING in the recipe, including the time, if you want enough to feed more than 2-4 people for dinner.

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