Clean Eating Shepherds Pie (THM E)
Only in my recent years I've come to have a love for shepherds pie. It wasn't a dish I grew up with, but it's grown into being a Winter staple in my household. It's easy to prepare, uses simple ingredients, and can feed an army.
I started this pie using low fat, grass-fed ground beef. It's not traditional for a shepherds pie, however it lends a lot of great flavor. I then sautéed it with a little red onion, celery, cremini mushrooms, carrots, shallots, and garlic. I sprinkled the mixture with a little xanthan gum, then de-glazed the pan with about a cup of dry red wine and reduced the mixture for about 7 minutes.
When the wine is reduced by about half, turn the heat off, add the peas, parsley, and thyme then set aside.
Meanwhile, I had my creamy potato topping going in a separate pan.
I peeled and diced 5 medium white sweet potatoes. Yes, these things exist! I found them bagged at Trader Joe's - they have purple skin and white flesh. I also peeled and diced two large parnsips to go with it. Parsnips have a slightly spicy flavor, which helps cut the sweetness of the sweet potato and they make for a very velvety puree.
I boiled those down together for about 12 minutes, in salted water, so that everything was nice and tender.
I drained them, then added them to my food processor with some chicken broth, fat free cream cheese, and a couple tablespoons of butter. Blend it all until smooth, season with salt and pepper, and you're good to go.
In a large casserole dish (I used an oval casserole dish), place the beef mixture (with pan juices). Top with the potato/parsnip puree, then grate on about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.
The whole thing goes into a 400 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, until it's hot and bubbly and the top is lightly browned.
And this is the beauty you get once it's finished - deeply flavorful ground beef and veggies with a little red wine gravy topped with creamy and velvety potato-parsnip puree. So creamy and delicious, you'll have a hard time believing it's an E!