Shepherd’s Pie

This is a nice dish for supper on a cold night. I had two partially used packages of ground meat in my freezer, so that’s what I used for this recipe. I had carrots freshly picked from my garden and green beans that I had blanched and frozen earlier in the season.

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon salt
6 tablespoons clarified butter
1/2 cup lactose-free milk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar or other hard cheese

olive or vegetable oil
2 leeks, washed and sliced, green parts only
1 1/4 lbs ground beef, lamb, or a mixture of the two
2 -3 carrots, diced
1 heaping cup cut green beans, frozen is fine
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Put the potato chunks in a large saucepan, cover with water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are tender 10 – 20 minutes depending on the size of your chunks. Drain and mash the potatoes together with the butter and milk. Stir in the cheese then taste and adjust seasoning.

While the potatoes are boiling, heat about a tablespoon of oil in an oven-proof skillet.  Add the leeks, and give them a couple of stirs around the pan until they just begin to soften. Add the meat and cook, breaking up clumps, until it is no longer pink. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until the carrots start to soften. There should be a little liquid in the pan but it should not be soupy. Add water if necessary.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove from the heat and spread the mixture out evenly in the pan; top with an even layer of the potato mixture. Pop into the oven uncovered and let it bake 25 – 30 minutes or until the potatoes just begin to brown. Serve hot, hot, hot!

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