Didn’t finish those mashed potatoes at dinner yesterday? Making tonight’s meal will be a breeze! Use your leftover spuds to make a dish that’s been satisfying hungry families for centuries: shepherd’s pie. Once known as “cottage pie” (because of its popularity in rural areas), shepherd’s pie is a layered casserole that typically includes mashed potatoes, ground beef, carrots and peas. With this recipe, you can make your pie with or without meat and include whatever veggies you have on hand.
Shepherd’s Pie with Cornbread Topping
Use (M) ingredients for a meat version or (V) to make a vegan shepherd’s pie:
(M) 1-1/2 pounds ground meat (I use whatever I have on hand, usually a mixture)
(M) 1/2 cup broth of choice (I use chicken)
(V) 15-32 oz. beans, canned or soaked (I use red, butter and/or black)
(V) 1/2 cup vegetable broth
For both (M) and (V) options:
Olive oil, or oil of choice
1 onion, chopped
2 cups veggies, chopped (whatever you have on hand)
2 potatoes worth of mashed potatoes, make ahead
Herbs and seasonings of choice (some of my favorites in this recipes are thyme, chives, parsley)
Vegan cornbread batter
(Note: If you’re trying to introduce your family to more beans, use 3/4 pounds of meat and 15 ounces of red or black beans. When adding both beans and meat, mash together slightly before step 3 below.)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In skillet, heat oil and sauté onion. Add veggies. Cook until slightly tender. (Note: Pay attention to veggie cooking time. Carrots, for example, will take longer to soften than mushrooms, so add them first.)
3. Add beans or meat, broth and seasonings; finish cooking.
4. Remove mixture from skillet. Apply a coating of oil. Line bottom and sides of pan with mashed potatoes. Replace mixture. Top with vegan cornbread batter.
4. Top with layer of vegan cornbread batter (or, if preferred, top with additional mashed potatoes).
5. Bake for 30 minutes. (Note: Place a baking sheet under skillet to catch drippings.)
Tips and Variations
Dana Zucker is a home cook that likes to do it her way! She gets creative with nutritious ingredients to keep her active family—teenage twins and a vegan, triathlete husband—healthy and happy. Cooking with organic, local and whole food ingredients is key, whether she’s whipping up an early-morning breakfast, prepping afterschool snacks or getting dinner on the table at 10 p.m. Dana says, “We do eat out sometimes, and even cheat with some pre-made foods. But I try to balance making delicious foods with the reality of a busy schedule.” Dana’s recipes are a great starting point to find a style of cooking that works for your family. Her advice? Keep it real—and keep it easy!