Instead of mashed potatoes, use thinly sliced potatoes to form the gorgeous, scalloped crust. We used a mandoline for slicing, but a sharp knife will also work.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground chuck
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen English peas
2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.), peeled and very thinly sliced
2 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.), peeled and very thinly sliced
Vegetable cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Prepare Filling: Cook ground chuck in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until crumbled and no longer pink. Add wine and tomato paste, and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes or until wine is completely evaporated. Remove mixture from skillet, and drain. Wipe skillet clean.
Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until slightly browned and tender. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in broth, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium; stir in Worcestershire sauce and next 4 ingredients. Simmer 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in peas and beef mixture. Remove from heat.
Prepare Crust: Preheat oven to 375°. Microwave sweet potatoes and 1/4 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl covered with plastic wrap at HIGH 5 minutes. Repeat procedure with Yukon gold potatoes.
Arrange about two-thirds of potato slices, edges slightly overlapping, in a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, covering bottom and sides. Spoon in filling. Arrange remaining potato slices,
edges slightly overlapping, over filling. Brush potatoes with melted butter.
Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
MAKE IT AHEAD Cook ground beef mixture, and cool completely. Refrigerate mixture up to two days. Add freshly cut potatoes, and bake.
This is extremely prep-intensive but if you have time, an enjoyable experience. Beautiful presentation. Slicing blade of food processor worked well for potatoes. I also used it with chopping blade for onions and carrots ... they turned out too pureed, but the good news is they were completely disguised for my kids who would not want to recognize those veggies. Delicious but not sure I will make it again because of the time (and dish/equipment) commitment.
I've never been a fan of Shepherd's Pie, but this one just looked so beautiful. The flavor of this version is just incredible - savory filling against sweet potatoes. It's flexible too - I used just 1lb of beef, red cooking wine and a splash of some leftover white, frozen mixed veggies in place of sauteed carrots and peas, some duck stock I had on hand. It all came together wonderfully. I'll certainly make this one again.
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