Non-Traditional Shepherd’s Pie

Non-Traditiona Shepherd's Pie | Brittany's PantryMmmm.  Shepherd’s Pie.  Raise your hand if you know what I am talking about!

Growing up, I thought if it was a one pot meal and covered with a layer of mashed potatoes, ya got yourself a Shepherd’s Pie.  And that is partly true.  But I believe that it also has to have lamb to qualify and that is harder to find, harder to get people to eat, and just not practical.  I don’t know about you, but lamb of any kind is not available at my corner super market.  Hmm? What’s that?  You’re saying you live by a Trader Joe’s?  A Whole Foods?  The world’s largest CUB foods?  Not in the middle of a corn field?  Fine.  So lamb might be available at your corner store.  Just don’t rub it in.

And bring on the ground beef!

I had honestly never made this dish myself until the last year.  And now my family loves it so much (my daughter goes WILD for it!) I find myself making this version quite often.  It is classic comfort food and although it has a few extra steps, it is easy to plan ahead and whip it up in no time.

Please do not tell your Irish grandmother about this recipe.  It just may get you stoned with potatoes.Non-Traditiona Shepherd's Pie | Brittany's Pantry Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted (loosely) from Sunny Anderson

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 T olive or canola oil
1 T butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c tomato paste
1/4 c water or beef stock
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 tsp paprika
1 c grated mozzarella cheese, optional
2-3 c prepared mashed potatoes

In a large saute pan, heat the oil and butter together over medium heat just until the butter is melted.  Add the onion and ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, tomato paste and the water, stirring until it is all incorporated and heated through.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Let cook for another few minutes for the flavors to meld and then spoon the mixture into a sprayed, 2 quart casserole dish.  Spread evenly over the bottom.  Sprinkle cheese over the meat.  Return the pan to the stove over medium heat and add the carrots, zucchini and paprika.  Stir vegetables just until they start to sweat, 3-4 minutes.  Layer the vegetables over the cheese and spread evenly.  Top with mashed potatoes, smoothing the top.  Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes, or until hot all the way through and starting to brown on top.

Note: There are several ways you can make this recipe go together even faster.  You can easily pick-up pre-shredded carrots at the grocery store, as well as refrigerated mashed potatoes, I usually make extra when I am making them for a different meal, and then use the leftovers mashed potatoes to top this casserole later in the week.  Feel free to use ground turkey instead of ground beef.  You probably won’t even notice the difference in taste.  When my garden is producing abundant amounts of zucchini, I shred pre-measured amounts and freeze them for use later in the year.