Whenever we have Shepherd’s pie for dinner I know for certain that there will not be any leftovers for lunch the next day. Simple as it is, people love its old fashioned goodness, and even those who never take seconds can’t seem to resist having just a little bit more.
Just yesterday, I learned that sweet potatoes may be one of the greatest sources of beta carotene and Vitamin A – thus very good for you. So why not put a little autumn spin on our Shepherd’s pie and top it with tangy orange-zested sweet potato instead of white? I gave it a try and to my delight it did exactly what I what I hoped for……a thick golden crust that was gorgeous to look at and mouthwatering to eat.
Served alongside a mixed green cranberry vinaigrette salad this became a most satisfying homespun November supper.
- Put meat, onions, salt, thyme, pepper and if available bone and pan drippings, in a pot or pressure cooker and cover with water.
- Cook or boil them until the meat and onions are both soft. Boil the liquid down until flavorful.
- Add the wine and thicken with flour.
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Place meat mixture in a pie dish (the peas may be added) and top with mashed sweet potatoes.
- Bake until golden brown and bubbling through, about 30 minutes.
This week I am in an unfamiliar kitchen that is “equipment-challenged.” Anyone that has worked with me will tell you I am a “from-scratch” cook and have been known to look down on packaged mixes and ready made products. However in my older years I am mellowing in my opinions… So when I wanted to make chicken-pot-pie for a crowd this week and knew I lacked a pastry cutter and rolling pin, I realized that this was one of those moments to put aside pride! So off to the store for some pre-made pie crust. I did however make my own broth. Why waste boiling a whole chicken? Chicken-pot-pie is almost the first thing I think of when the leaves start to turn in earnest.
- Put all of these ingredients in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
- Remove chicken and set aside. Keep simmering broth.
- When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones and return the bones to the broth.
- Continue cooking until you have about 4 to 6 cups of broth, after straining through a colander. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Melt butter in a stock pot
- Add onion, carrots, celery, parsnips and mushrooms and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes.
- Add thyme and cook another minute.
- Add flour and cook again another couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add 4 cups of the stock and bring to a boil to thicken.
- Turn heat down and simmer a few minutes until vegetables begin to get tender.
- Chop chicken into chunks and add that and parsley to the pot.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pile into a 9″ glass pie plate. Sprinkle peas on top.
- Place crust over all, crimp edge decoratively. Brush egg wash over crust. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.