Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cinzia's Shepherd's Pie



Preparation 25 min / Cooking 30 min
380 calories per serving [See all nutrition info]

5 potatoes, peeled then halved
1 1/2 onions, finely chopped
16 button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
500 g ground beef, extra-lean, or lean
3/4 cup canned tomatoes (diced)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup milk, partly skimmed, 2%
2 tbsp butter, unsalted
ground pepper to taste
1 pinch salt [optional]

Before you start
For individual pies, choose baking dishes which contain about 375 ml or 1 ½ cups when 3/4 full.

Preheat the oven to 205°C/400°F.
Prepare the vegetables: finely chop the onion; thinly slice the mushrooms; peel the potatoes, cut them in half then boil them 20-25 min until very tender. Drain them well and set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and sear it until it looses its red colour, about 4-5 min, then break it up with a fork. In order to brown the meat, it is important not to stir it at the beginning, otherwise it will release its juices and will «boil» rather than brown.
When the meat is golden-coloured, add the chopped onion then cook 2 min with stirring. Stir in the diced tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and broth. Add the frozen peas and continue cooking until heated through, about 4-5 min. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the contents to one large baking dish, or distribute it into individual baking dishes.
Pour the milk into a large microwave-safe bowl. Add the butter and microwave on medium-high a few minutes, uncovered, until very hot. Add the cooked potatoes and mash the mixture until it is creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place a spoonful of the potato mixture on top of the beef mixture, then gently spread it with a spoon to cover evenly.
Bake in the middle of the oven until the top is golden-brown, about 30 min. Serve.

Remarks
The pies can be frozen right after having been covered with the mashed potatoes and individually wrapped. They can be baked (taken directly from the freezer) for about 50 min at 205°C/400°F.

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