As I was recovering from being quite ill for a few weeks I started craving shepherds pie – don’t ask me why but it was all I wanted to eat. Strange but true. Even now as I am pretty much back to normal, I still feel a craving to eat it. Must be a comfort food thing. Anyway I decided to make a few containers of it so that I could freeze it for when I just had to have it again.
I do put a slight twist on the traditional pie. The secret which makes it very healthy is adding a can of lentils to the ground meat. It adds to the volume and fibre but also the taste. I also added a spice paste called harissa, a middle eastern spice combination that gives a slightly spicy (heat) note to your food. Another addition was about a tablespoon of hoisin for a slight sweet note. Then there is the topping…I added shredded parmesan to the top of the potato before putting in the over to bake.
1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1.5 tbsp Harissa paste
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup low fat yogurt
1 can cooked lentils
Potato – white not yukon – 1 per person
Shredded parmasean cheese
Sauté onion in a large pan till browned (tip – I add a pinch of brown sugar to help it caramelize). Add garlic and sauté till cooked but not burnt.
Add ground beef (or turkey), mix and cook till lightly browned. Add frozen mix veg and cooked lentils, harissa and hoisin. Mix well. Cook on stovetop till well browned and veg is no longer frozen.
Peel potatoes and chop into even pieces. Boil or microwave until soft. Transfer to a large bowl or mixer, add yogurt and mix with a mix master or hand held mixer till light and fluffy and mashed.
Add a punch of salt to taste if you like (I don’t add salt as the cheese on top adds enough salt for my liking).
Put meat mixture into a pan, or glass container (I divided it into four double serving glass containers so I could freeze it). Spread the mash potato on top of each container and sprinkle parmasean over top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes till slightly browned. Serve warm or let cool, cover and freeze.