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Thursday, March 21, 2019

What do you cook when it’s cold outside and you don’t have much in the house except tired veggies and leftover chicken, turkey, or a pound or two of ground meat from the freezer? Here’s something really, really great that you can make with a pound of almost anything!

Quick savory pie crust (makes 1 crust):

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Mix together in a bowl with a fork and press into a pie pan. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven.

Shepherd’s Pie filling:

  • 1 cup carrots, minced
  • 1 cup celery, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram (optional, can replace with ⅛ tsp dried oregano)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, turkey or chicken (or 1 pound turkey, brisket or other meat slices, chopped)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock, chicken stock or beef stock
  • 1 and a half baking potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed with salt, pepper and  granulated garlic

First, put your potatoes up to boil. Then, in a large deep bottomed saute pan, combine the carrots, celery, onions and sweat with olive oil over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, about ten minutes, then add the garlic and continue cooking an additional three to five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the beef or turkey, making sure each piece is reasonably bite-sized. If you are using ground meat, make sure the meat is already thoroughly cooked and drained, with no pink.

Now, push the veggies and meat over to reveal a fourth of the pan, where you will make a very simple low-fat roux. Place your 1 tablespoon of flour in that empty corner and combine it with a small amount (approximately 1 or 2 tbsp) of the vegetable stock. Mix thoroughly, until the mixture thickens and starts to boil. Continue mixing it for approximately 20 seconds to cook out the floury taste, then add the rest of the stock and mix the roux together with the meat and veggie mixture. It should be smooth. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary. Turn heat to low and cover.

Mash the potatoes. For additional creaminess, you can also add 2 tbsp of almond milk, or non-dairy creamer, but generally, I like salt, pepper and a bit of garlic.

Pour the meat mixture into the pie shell, and then spread the potatoes over the mixture, so that no meat shows through. For added sheen and that trademark crispiness, spray cooking spray on top of the potatoes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for half an hour, until the potatoes are crisp and the inside is piping hot. Enjoy!

By Elizabeth Kratz