Dear 24/680 Readers:
Wishing everyone well as you navigate the holiday season. As a food professional, this time of year is crazed – with writing, cooking, serving, teaching and entertaining – it challenges us to perform well as we share our love of food and the gatherings around it! Food is a constant, and with all the options, choices need to be made. Food is very personal, and as a cooking teacher and lifestyle coach, I often offer options like the recipe I have highlighted here to improve eating and overall health. Remember, optimal health and well-being require that proteins, carbohydrates and fats be supplied to the body in adequate and balanced amounts. No nutrient works alone as each is dependent on the presence of others for its best effects and results. This an other important concepts are explained in our book.
Shepherd’s Pie (or cottage pie) is a popular English recipe that typically layers meat and vegetables and is topped with potatoes and cheese. I offer an updated, more nutritious version which includes a variety of whole, super foods: grass-fed lamb stew meat (lean, high in omega-3 fatty acids from their grass-fed diet); a variety of leafy winter greens which are a rich source of various anti-cancer chemicals, fiber which lowers cholesterol, regulates estrogen and fights colon cancer. Finally, my version is topped with sweet potatoes, a nutritional powerhouse and an excellent source of vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B6 and potassium, and dietary fiber. Our cookbook contains this recipe (found on page 164) and goes even further to substitute the sweet potatoes for mashed cauliflower. The book offers another 60-plus nutrient-rich, low(no)-carb, low(no)-sugar recipes. Check in with Chef Charlie on how to order your copy today. It makes a great gift for anyone who is food challenged and needing to make changes to their overall intake.
Happy Holidays to you all! – Chef Charlie
If you would like to learn more about our book and how to order, visiting this link on the Epicurean Exchange.
Shepherd’s Pie with Greens and Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes, ends trimmed, remainder peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
4 medium Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
8 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup milk or additional beef broth
1/4 cup minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef or lamb (ground or stew meat), chopped into ¼-inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
4 cups chopped spinach, kale, other leafy greens
4 – 6 tablespoons butter
• Place potatoes and sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, but not soggy, 10 – 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place them back into the cooking pot.
• Begin mashing potatoes and add 2 tablespoons of the butter, milk (or beef broth), parsley and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Mix well, and add more milk (or broth) if necessary for a creamy consistency. Set aside.
• Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, the olive oil. Add the beef (or lamb) to the skillet, and brown the meat, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, thyme, and season lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Add the flour and stir constantly. The flour will start to brown. When the flour is browned, after 3 – 4 minutes, add the beef broth, a little at a time to deglaze and stir to release brown bits from bottom of the pan. Add the remaining broth, reduce heat to low, add the mixed greens and cover the skillet. Cook the greens until thoroughly wilted, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and pepper.
• To finish the dish, transfer the meat mixture to an ovenproof baking dish large enough to hold all the ingredients. Carefully top the meat with the potato mixture making sure not to disturb the meat below. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot them over the top of the potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
Serves 8 – 10
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