Saturday, September 14, 2013

Southwest Inspired Shepherd's Pie


I started this blog at the beginning of the year then abandoned it with only a recipe posted.  I’m finally back now and ready to get into sharing recipes, crafty stuff and anything else creative that comes to mind.  I thought I would share a recipe that was a big hit with my husband, he has requested that I make it several times since.  He loves shepherd’s pie and I don’t generally care for the flavors in the traditional version.  Since I like southwestern inspired flavors I tried something different for this one, I have to say the result was pretty tasty.  If you try it let me know what you think, if you have your own favorite shepherd’s pie with a twist recipe I would love to have you share that as well, I’m always looking for new ideas!

Shepherd’s Pie – Jen’s Southwest Inspired Version
Serves at least 8, likely more

Ingredients:
1 tsp cocnut oil (or whatever oil you like for cooking)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped small
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery stalks, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, chopped small
8 oz mushrooms, chopped small
1 lb. very lean ground beef (I used 95/5)
3 T tomato paste
½ T ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder (do this to taste, I use more, we like things spicy)
½ T chili powder
1 large can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 C corn (I prefer frozen, less sodium), thawed
Salt and pepper to taste
3 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into chunks
¾ large head of cauliflower, chopped into large chunks
3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
3 T butter
¼-1/2 C skim milk (or whatever milk you have in the fridge)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
¾ C shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • For the bottom portion of the pie:
  • Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet
  • Drop in the onion through the mushrooms and sauté for two minutes, allowing veggies to soften slightly
  • Add in the ground beef and break it up into the veggies as it is browning
  • Once the meat is browned add in the tomato paste and spices, cook for another minute giving everything a chance to meld and the paste a chance to really wake up
  • Add in the tomatoes, beans and corn, stirring everything together well
  • Turn down the heat, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer another 15 minutes to reduce the amount of liquid
  • Add the potatoes and cauliflower to a large pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until tender
  • Drain potatoes and cauliflower then put back into the pot, add in the cream cheese, butter, milk, salt and pepper, and use an electric mixer to combine everything until smooth (you are looking for a thick but smooth consistency)
  • At this point check the meat mixture for salt/pepper needs along with spices.  I find when using canned beans and veggies I often don’t need to add salt.  If you add salt let it cook for a couple of minutes before moving on to the next step
  • Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray, add in the meat mixture and spread to an even layer, add the potato/cauliflower mixture on top
  • If you are baking the dish now, add the cheese and place in the oven.  It should only take about 20-25 minutes because everything is already hot
  • If you are going to put it in the refrigerator for later in the week, allow it to cool then cover and refrigerate, when you take it out to bake allow to sit on the counter for a few minutes then cover with foil before putting it in the oven, bake for 30 minutes covered, remove the cover, add the cheese then bake until browned.

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