I didn’t like Shepherds Pie. Never have. Until I tried this one.
My husband, Dan has always really enjoyed it though. It’s total comfort food for him. And, my youngest won’t eat much meat without complaints, other than ground beef. So, when my friend (and this blog’s food photographer) Rebecca, gifted me with Joanna Gaines’ cookbook I decided to give Jo’s take on it a try. And, I have to say – she won me over with this recipe! I’ve adapted it a bit for an even stronger punch of piquancy, and I love it!
The distinguishing factor for me was the addition of extra tomato paste and other flavor filled ingredients that I was not used to in a traditional pie. The bottom is creamier and loaded with palate pleasers. I also loved the addition of a layer of green beans – I’ll pack greens in anywhere I can! Give this homey recipe a try too, and you’ll see what I mean!
Vegetable oil spray
Freshly ground black pepper
5-6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 C milk
1/2 C heavy cream
2 Tbsp salted butter
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 lb green beans, ends snapped and cut in thirds
1 Small white onion, diced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 Lbs ground beef
2 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
3-4 Tbsp tomato paste
2-3 Tbsp hot water
2-3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp minced parsley or chives for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Mash potatoes, adding the milk, heavy cream, butter, nutmeg and a half tsp each salt and pepper until creamy and smooth.
Meanwhile, steam green beans until crisp-tender whichever method you prefer. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process, drain well and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and carrots and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, 6-7 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring often to break up the meat until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Pour off any standing liquid.
Push ingredients to one side of the skillet, then add flour, tomato paste, hot water, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp pepper. Sitr until blended, then combine with the beef mixture in the pan. Cook until the mixture is thickened, 3-5 minutes.
Spread the meat mixture in prepared baking pan and layer the green beans on top. Spoon the potato mixture over the green beans and smooth the top to completely cover. Bake until heated through and potatoes are lightly browned on top. Sprinkle with parsley or chives. Serve hot, straight from the baking dish.