Traditional shepherd’s pie consists of using minced lamb and vegetables topped with a crust of browned, buttery mashed potatoes. It’s a savory dish, often considered as English comfort food. Modifying traditional meals into healthier, lighter versions is ideal, since that traditional goodness is still maintained but it’s nutritional content is increased with added nutrients and flavour.
This recipe is perfectly seasoned, completely satisfying and absolutely delicious. The juices from the ‘gravy’ that is prepared with the ground meat and vegetables is what makes this dish so entirely tasty, as the juices literally ooze with flavour. There are many different variations of this meal. For vegetarians, the meat can be omitted, or substituted with tofu, beans, or lentils. Ground chicken or turkey can be used for a leaner choice of meat.
I’m usually really picky when it comes to ground meat, however if the right ingredients are used, the meaty flavour that I dislike is usually overpowered. In this case, the red wine, ketchup and BBQ sauce really emit delicious flavours that help to take away the strong taste of the ground veal.
- 1.5 cups ground veal
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram)
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (basil, mint, fennel seed, sage, thyme, rosemary, lavender)
2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon sweet BBQ sauce (I used Diana’s Original)
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup water
- Salt and pepper
Ingredients for Mashed Potatoes:
- 2 sweet potatoes, skinned and cut into large pieces
- 4 medium sized potatoes, skinned and cut into large pieces
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons butter
Heat oil in a large pan on medium-high heat, sauté onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add ground veal and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add herbs (Italian seasoning and herbs de providence). Cook until the juices are evaporated, stirring well to avoid clumping. Add wine. Once the wine is evaporated, add ketchup and BBQ sauce and stir well. Add carrots, zucchini, and peas and stir. Add water, stir and let simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
While mixture is simmering, boil potatoes and garlic clove in salted water until soft (about half hour). Drain and bring back to pot, add butter and mash until smooth. Set aside.
When the ground meat and vegetable mixture is done, place in an oven safe casserole and top with mashed potatoes. Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 15-20 minutes. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and enjoy.