Monday, January 19, 2009

shepherd's pie, the Rachael Ray way

I know Becky recently posted a recipe for shepherd's pie, but I had these leftover parsnips that I didn't know what to do with -- and I don't think I'd actually ever eaten shepherd's pie before this, let alone made it, so I wasn't brave enough to start experimenting. And this recipe was REALLY good... both J. and I kept exclaiming about how savory and delicious and warm it was.

2 pounds small yellow-fleshed potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces cremini mushroom slices
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 pound 93-percent lean ground beef [I used turkey, but Kel, you might be able to get away with soy crumble... maybe...]
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth [I used vegetable]
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup 2-percent milk
1 1/2 pounds baby spinach

1. In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes and enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot; cover.

2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over high heat, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Arrange in a greased 9-by- 13-inch baking dish in an even layer.

3. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over mediumhigh heat. Add the carrots, parsnips and onion and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and simmer, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the meat mixture over the mushrooms. Reserve the skillet.

4. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°. Add the milk to the potatoes and mash. Season with salt and pepper.

5. In the reserved skillet, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook, turning, until wilted, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a colander; press to extract any liquid.

6. Arrange the spinach over the meat mixture, then spoon the potatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

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