15 December 2009

A Recipe for Shepherd's Pie with Squashed Potatoes




Shepherd's Pie with Squashed Potatoes
Surviving the holidays takes a certain amount of skill (or cunning if you can manage to be invited out for dinner each and every night leading up to the holidays). My simple tip for surviving the holiday rush would be to simplify your week day menus before and after the big celebrations. It also doesn't hurt if the recipes chosen can be "lighter" with fewer calories and therefore balance well with the other calorie-laden offerings of the holiday season. We still need to eat well and healthily which may take some juggling in between celebrations. The last thing we would want is to get ill as well on top of being sleep deprived. You can also prepare dishes that are quick and easy so you spend less time in the kitchen.

Planning ahead is also another excellent survival tool. Dishes like this beef Shepherd's Pie can be frozen and baked in the oven at the last minute.  It is made with seasoned lean beef and vegetables with a layer of corn or creamed corn and topped with a cheesy mashed potato and squash combination. Talk about good for you as well!!!! This recipe is based on one from our Canadian duo the Podleski sisters. One is a home cook and the other a nutritionist who made their own success story by writing several cookbooks as well as having their own televsison series Eat, Shrink and Be Merry. How appropriate is that title for the holidays!!!!!!

**Shepherd's Pie with Squashed Potatoes**

1-1/2 pounds (680 g) extra-lean ground beef
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup frozen peas-and-carrots blend
1 cup frozen or canned corn
2/3 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper

Potato Topping

2 pounds (908 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 cups (about 1/2 lb / 250 g) peeled and chopped butternut squash
1/2 cup light (3% to 5 %) sour cream
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional

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To make filling, cook beef, onions, and garlic in a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink and onions are tender. Stir in paprika and thyme. Cook 1 more minute. Add peas and carrots Mix well.

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, whisk together broth, chili sauce, flour and Worcestershire sauce. Add to meat mixture in pot, along with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Mixture will thicken slightly. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm while you prepare potato topping.
To make topping, place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches (salt water if desired). Bring to a boil. Add squash. Cook until both potatoes and squash are tender, about 12 to 14 minutes. Drain potatoes and squash in a colander. Return to pot. Sprinkle ½ cup Parmesan over vegetables. Cover with lid and let stand 1 minute for cheese to melt. Add sour cream, salt and (tiny!) dash nutmeg. Mash well using a potato masher. Try to get out as many lumps as possible.

To assemble casserole, spread meat mixture evenly over the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with canned cream corn or canned corn , whichever you are using) and then potato/squash mixture. Fluff with fork so small peaks are formed. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablesppoons Parmesan cheese over potatoes. Bake at 375ºF for 25 minutes, until bubbly around edges and completely heated through. Remove from oven. Sprinkle top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving (it’s hot!).

Tip: Cut potatoes and squash into equal-size pieces for even cooking.
 
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Shepherds Pie with Parmesan Cheese Mashed Potatoes
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Mummy Boome's Traditional Shepherds Pie
Anthony Sedlak's Cottage Pie
Turkey Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie Best Blogger Tips

26 comments:

  1. You are so right, I always find myself short on cooking time around the holidays. Dinners are such a throw together.

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  2. This looks and sounds supremely delicious. Luckily I don't have to cook that much for the holidays, although I do have a fair amount of baking to do.

    I really want to check out these cookbooks now! I am a sucker for anything with butternut squash. Even better if it's a lightened up comfort food!

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  3. Good advice. I, too, am trying to go lightly in between the big holiday feasts. Besides, I'm still working on getting off the calories consumed in SF! :)

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  4. This pie must be delicious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. Vall I love Shepherds Pie and this look fantastic, yummy! gloria

    Vall something curios the other day I went to a little school to vote (we are choosing president) and meanwhile wait for my turn to vote, I read at the door class romm" CANADA GASTRONOMY! I remember you and read all, and was really nice know more about Canada gastronmy (that I love) and
    it history from France and England, so interesting.
    This work was made by little students of 6th grade.

    cheers. gloria

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  6. Great idea to freeze this dish. With a house full during the Holidays we need to prepare ahead of time. Like the idea to add squash also. Make the dish healthier.

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  7. It totally takes skills, patience, willpower, determination and maybe a 5 Hour Energy drink (or 4) to survive the holidays. :) Sounds like your way works too!

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  8. I must say the squashed taters are great! Planning is def the key...just wish I could be better at it!

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  9. I haven't made Shepherd's Pie in a million years. I like the idea of mixing the squash and potato.

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  10. Every time I have made Grumpy Shepherd's pie - it has not turned out to his liking. I don't know what I'm doing wrong! I'll give your recipe a shot and see if I can make him "happy". lol

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  11. I couldn't agree more, Val! This is what I'm doing today :D. I'm trying out two new dishes I want to cook for the 6th of January (the kings' day) and planning them ahead will be a great help.

    Your shepperd's pie is a great idea... any room left for a forein visit? ;D

    Happy Holidays dear!

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  12. shepherd's pie is AWESOME, and i love your twist on the topping. somehow, it just makes it more suitable for the season. :)

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  13. Love this recipe and have bookmarked it to make next week. I have so much going on that something like this is a God send. I will make it earlier in the day and then just "cook" it at dinner time!

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  14. Looks just great! Shep Pie has been on my to-do list for almost forever and I just might have to 'steal' this recipe of yours!!

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  15. My survival tip is avoid everybody under the sun and hide. Seems to have been working great for the last couple of years.

    Awesome recipe too and everything is better with corn.

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  16. I love Shepard's pie! A great use for leftover ground meat or potatoes! YUM!

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  17. I think I like Jeff's suggestion the best. ;-)

    I always do things like get Christmas shoping done as early as possible, buying gifts here and there and online throughout November and then using December to cook and party. I have the luxury of a lot of vacation days, so if I need some time to cook a big holiday meal, I have it.

    I loved the name "squashed potatoes"! I wasn't sure if it was a new term for mashed or if it contained squash until I read the recipe, but it still made me giggle.

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  18. I'm with the Short (dis)Order Cook, I thought the name "squashed" was amusing. :) I once came across a recipe for "squarshed taters", made me laugh. Haha...squarshed.

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  19. Holiday time is always a mess! Thanks for sharing this delicious pie!!

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  20. I don't even want to tell you what we had for dinner tonight! This dish definitely looks a million times more yummy! I like the squash and potatoes together in the topping.

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  21. Great idea to add the butternut squash in the potato topping!

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  22. Looks delicious and comforting, Val. Love the addition of the squash in the potato layer!

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  23. I love the idea of the squash with the potatoes in the crust. Very clever Val. I made a Shepherd's pie with left-over turkey that we liked, but wait until I tell my husband that we could have included squash with the potatoes. He'll want to try your version next time for sure.
    Sam

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  24. This sounds delicious Val! I need easy meals after the holidays too!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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