“Spicy” Shepherd’s Pie with Yellow Mash (serves 4)

Have you ever longed for the comfort of Shepherd’s Pie but also had a yen for something spicy? This was my dilemma last night, and for some reason my brain was still working after a busy day, and I came up with an easy but delicious solution.

A different kind of Shepherd's Pie

A different kind of Shepherd’s Pie

So much of the food I cook for dinner on a daily basis comes from the action of opening the fridge or cupboard door. When I shop for groceries I don’t have dishes in mind for a week of cooking, I just buy enough of each particular food group (for lack of a better word!) and pair ingredients up with each other as I see fit.

A beautiful spice mix for the pie

A beautiful spice mix for the pie

Yesterday I ended up with 1 meagre pound of ground beef and I was determined to make it interesting. This is where my hoard of fabulous spices came in so very handy, and adding a concoction of my own creation helped my plain old minced meat achieve a whiff of the exotic. Adding a little turmeric and an egg yolk to my mash gave it the radiant yellow hue needed for the spicy surprise underneath.

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You will need:

for meat filling;

1 lb ground beef, lamb, chicken or turkey

1 1/2 tbs (1 1/2 ozs) unsalted butter

1 medium sweet onion, small dice

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, grated

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp Herbes de Provence (or a mixture of whatever dried herbs you have on hand)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp zested lemon rind

1 tsp sea-salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp sugar

1 tbs all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken or veggie broth (OR, 1/2 bouillon cube & water)

for Yellow Mash

4 medium golden/yellow/Yukon Gold potatoes

1 1/2 tbs (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter

1/2 tsp sea-salt

several grinds black pepper

1/3 cup milk

3/4 tsp ground turmeric

1 egg yolk

Method:

Preheat oven 350*

Boil potatoes (instruction in Step 5)

1 – Put saute pan on medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Cover with lid and turn heat down and cook for a further 5 minutes until soft.

Saute onions & garlic

Saute onions & garlic

2 – Mix all of the spices together in a small bowl along with the flour and lemon zest *If you are using a bouillon cube instead of broth, also add this to the spice mix*

3 – Turn the heat back up to medium and add the ground meat. Cook until the meat browns. Add the carrots and spices and stir everything together.

Add carrots, then spice mix

Add meat, then carrots, then spice mix

4 – Add the broth (or water) and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 2 minutes before turning off the heat. Set aside until ready to assemble.

Add meat, then liquid

Add liquid

5 – Peel and cut potatoes and place in pot. Cover with cold water and swish potatoes around with your hands removing some of the starch. Drain out the water and fill again until potatoes are just covered. Place on stove top, cover with a lid and boil until soft. Drain the hot water and add the remaining ingredients to the pot and mash until you have a creamy-like consistency. Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary.

Make yelow mash

Make yellow mash

6 – Butter a shallow casserole and spread the meat filling in the bottom. Cover with the mash in an even layer and stroke the whole top with the tines of a dinner fork.

Assemble pie

Assemble pie

7 – Place in preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Cook

Cook

Serve this with a simple fresh green salad.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

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