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Health, Home, and Happiness: Shepard's pie

Friday, June 5, 2009

Shepard's pie

Shepard's pie (or 'pile' as it usually looks like once it's scooped onto the plate) is my favorite make ahead dinner. Wednesday is our big errand day lately, and since we're sharing a car right now, that means getting home right before dinner. So on Tuesday I made two of these shepard's pies in a loaf pan, one for the fridge and one for the freezer for later.

I use a butter and unbleached white flour pastry crust from Joy of Cooking even Sally Fallon says that it's permissible to use unbleached flour in pie crusts.

While I'm making the pie crust I brown a pound of organic ground beef from Costco in a cast iron pan and boil cut-up potatoes, whatever we have, today they're red potatoes, in a pot. Skins still on.

I used to be able to get away with extending the beef out by adding cooked lentils (2 parts beef to 1 part lentils) to it for the added protein without the added cost. But hubby noticed after about a year of doing this, and now checks for any suspicious lentil-looking additions to beef. So I just use less beef now, since it's pricey.

I pull out the beef and place in the pie-crust-lined loaf pan, leaving the grease in the pan. Add about 1/4 cup of unbleached flour to make gravy. I add chicken stock to the grease-flour mixture and let it all cook for a while, adding salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Then pour the gravy over the beef, layer frozen broccoli over that, mash the potatoes in the kitchenaid with the whip attachment and some butter and salt, and put that on top of the beef and gravy.

This is my favorite freezer meal, since it has the protein, veggie, and starch all in it. When we have ground venison (deer) that makes an inexpensive addition to the beef.

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