Shepherd’s Pie a la Michelle
Breakfast this morning was yet another way to use the most yum tahini. You didn’t think I would let you forget this did you? This is yet another reason why you should follow my orders and make it. The teenagers tell me I’m bossy. Whatever.
1/3 cup oat bran with 2 cups of water simmered until thick (about 15 minutes). A little stevia, cinnamon, blueberries and a drizzle of tahini. This keeps me full and fuelled for a 4 or 5 km run depending on my give up level.
Did you know that the dish layered with first ground meat, onion and spices and then topped with corn or peas covered with mashed potatoes has three different titles?
I’ve always known this weekly meal in my home as Shepherds Pie. Ground beef and onions with a layer of frozen peas and then mashed potatoes and a sprinkling of paprika. Never my favorite but an almost weekly meal growing up.
In Quebec they call it Pate Chinois translated means ‘Chinese Pie,” apparently it’s got something to do with the chinese Railworkers before our time. In my husband’s home growing up, Pate chinois was made much the same way but with ground pork and veal often added. The big difference in Quebec is that after you’re mother goes to all the work of making this many layered dish and then serving you a big piece, you then proceed to drown it in ketchup, stirring vigorously until it resembles a disgusting red glob of goo. This is what happens in my house, and each time I just…..look away.
In England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand it’s called Cottage Pie. It varies but their pie generally uses more spices, sometimes tomatoes and often cheese.
I’m sure there are other countries that adapt this versatile dish to make as their own and I do as well. I’ve made my version for a few years now. This is Jojo’s favorite meal and a close first for Steve.
Shepherd’s pie à la Michelle
2 large sweet potatoes peeled and quartered
1 tsp salt
1 package extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
2 medium white onions diced very fine or just put in a blender
4 cloves of garlic (added to blender or put through a garlic press)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small bag of frozen corn (about 2-3 cups)
dried gravy mix or brown gravy Bovril along with hot water
Boil sweet potatoes until tender. Using a hand-held blender or a fork, blend until smooth adding a little milk to help out. Add 1 tsp of salt and stir again. Set aside.
In a hot frying pan spray with oil and add onions and garlic. Gently simmer until soft and then add beef or turkey along with thyme. I use a wire whisk to break up meat into small pieces. Cook only until meat is lightly browned and then turn up your heat and add gravy powder or Bovril along with 1/2 to 1 cup of very hot water. Constantly stir until mixture thickens.
Pour meat mixture into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle frozen corn on top and then smooth mashed sweet potatoes on top of corn. Sprinkle with paprika and place in a 400 degree oven.
Serve with a nice big salad. If you want to double this recipe and have freezer space (lucky you) then put the second unbaked portion in a tinfoil baking pan and simply wrap with Saran wrap and then put into a large Ziploc bag for the freezer. Then all you have to do is take it out in the morning, put into the fridge to defrost and at dinner time, bake and serve. Funny enough, Jojo and Steve went looking for the ketchup only to find it in the cupboard (my bad habit) and refused to eat it because the instructions say to refrigerate. I swear I didn’t do that on purpose but it did mean my pie was spared a ketchup disaster.