ellie krieger's shepherd's pie

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I'll make a post later about our adventures, but first, an amazing new favorite recipe.

It goes without saying that I am a huge fan of shepherd's pie. It's one of the things I've made since the beginning of our married days and this recipe is my new go-to. I made a different version before, which was great, but something seemed to be missing. And this recipe definitely found it.

Shepherd's Pie
serves 6-8

    1 pound lean ground beef (I used lean ground turkey)
    2 teaspoons olive oil 
    2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups) 
    3 medium carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
    1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced 
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried (I opted for dried) 
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 cup low-sodium beef broth 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    Freshly ground black pepper 
    1 cup frozen peas 
    1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold
    1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets 
    2/3 cup 1% lowfat milk 
    2 tablespoons butter 

In a large nonstick skillet cook the meat over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Drain any fat remaining in the skillet.

Heat the oil in the skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, covered, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Raise the heat to moderately-high. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and their liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes longer. Return the meat to the pan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and bring to a simmer being sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the peas. Pour the mixture into a 9x13 inch pan.

**Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. Arrange the potatoes in a steamer basket, and steam for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower to the basket and cook until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes longer. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher until smooth. Heat the milk, butter, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper and stir into the potato mixture.

Spread the potato mixture on top of the meat and bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. 

**I used potato buds this time since we have a lot we need to use up, so I haven't made her mashed potatoes yet, but based on the rest of the dish, I bet they're amazing. You could also just use a couple of potatoes to replace the cauliflower to make regular mashed potatoes on top of the beef and veggies mixture.


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