Shepherd’s Pie is another great dish for experimenting with. It is also great comfort food on a winter evening! Lately I have been omitting tomatoes and garlic from my recipes. I don’t love garlic in particular and I am cutting back on acidic tomatoes. Eliminating these two ingredients is a challenge, as they pack a lot of flavour.
With a lot of time in a good cast iron Dutch oven, you can bring out the flavour in SO many veggies. For shepherd’s pie you can experiment, but this time I used: 1 cup diced green cabbage, ½ an eggplant, a large yellow onion, 2 cups parsley, and several healthy dashes of Worcestershire sauce – as well as S&P.
If you sauté those veggies at a low-medium heat for a good ½ hour – or more, you will have the flavour you want. And not have to resort to tomatoes for zing, or the usual garlic! The other veggie-friendly thing I did was steam a whole cauliflower and then mash it along with 8 fingerling potatoes, with plenty of butter and salt and the cauliflower steam water. All in all, this shepherd’s pie was a hit, and had tons of servings of nutritious veggies in it to boot. This is my re-boot of the usual “carrots, peas and corn” shepherd’s pie – which by my palate has had its day!
Veggie Turbo-Charged Shepherd’s Pie:
3 tbs pure olive oil
½ eggplant, small dice
1 cup green cabbage, small dice
2 cups parsley, chopped
1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 tsp pepper
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 lb ground Pemberton-area deer meat, or grass-fed lean ground beef
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 medium cauliflower
8 small yellow potatoes (Pemberton Sieglindes are a treat)
Salt to taste
Sauté all veggies (except cauliflower and potatoes) until well cooked and caramelised in cast iron Dutch oven.
Brown deer meat/ground beef in a separate cast iron fry pan, then and add to veggie mixture.
Add ½ cup chicken broth and 2 tbs cornstarch. Mix well. Mixture should thicken nicely.
Boil potatoes until very fork-tender.
Puree steamed cauliflower in food processor fitted with steel blade until very smooth.
Blend cauliflower and potatoes together in stand mixer with butter, salt and cauliflower steam water until you have a smooth consistency.
Pour veggie mix into 9×13” casserole dish and spoon mashed potatoes/cauliflower over top. Spread well.
Bake 350C for ½ hour.
** Leftovers: next day add a good splash of chicken broth to a serving of shepherd’s pie and it forms a stew that is very satisfying in a Thermos for lunch on the go.