Beef and Pumpkin Shepard’s Pie
A warm and healthy Shepard’s pie loaded with so many beautiful flavours….where do I start? The beautiful beefy filling? The crispy parmesan cheesy top? Or the creamy layers of pumpkin?Oh. I know. How ’bout one word: Yuuu-uuu-uuuhhhmmmm-eeee.This recipe has been handed down to me by my one and only mama. Her recipes are bomb.com. I may only ever change a couple things, because ‘s’how I am. But really, this is perfection in it’s purifyest glory. I know, that’s not even a word, but it is for today because I said.
The beef mixture inside this thing is like, beast mode. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator of Shepard’s Pie. Or Cottage Pie. Whichever one rocks your socks. So much happening it may not be like your normal average Shepard’s Pie, but since when are we normal anyway?
One slice of this mountain of glory and you’ll be so full and fulfilled in every way possible, you won’t want a nothing else after it. Not even chocolate. Which is a good thing, right? No carrot sticks happening over in my ‘hood for dinner. No sir. I go to bed with my stomach whistling a happy tune.
I do realise most of these pies are made with potatoes, but like I said, we not normal over here. Aside from sweet potatoes, I luuuurve pun-kin, as you already probably have figured out, with the Chicken Pumpkin and Ricotta Lasagna from the other day, and yeah, the Creamy Pumpkin and Spinach Soup with Crispy Bacon. I can’t help ma’s elf. It’s creamy. It’s sweet. It’s my hero.
You know what I love about this the most? Is cutting into it: the knife sliding down so softly you start to imagine the creamy pumpkin. And then, the warm and sweet aromas of pumpkin hit your nostrils like a ballerina, dancing around your face, begging to be eaten. Yes, I’m totally selling this recipe toy you. Well. trying. Because you hafta make it.
Your family will love you. Your guests won’t want to go home. Or, maybe that’s a bad thing? I guess it depends who your guests are.
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- 1 kg | 2lbs butternut or kent pumpkin , washed, peeled seeded and cubed (I usually use 1/2 a kent pumpkin)
- 3 large potatoes , washed, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons reduced fat butter/spread of choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion , chopped
- 2 medium carrots , peeled and chopped
- 1/2 red capsicum/bell pepper , seeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves , minced (or 3 teaspoons minced garlic)
- 500 g | 1lbs ground/mince extra lean beef
- 2 ripe tomatoes , diced
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- salt to season
- 2 tablespoons vegetable stock (I use Vegeta)
- 2 tablespoons gravy powder , whisked in 1/4 cup boiling water (until free of lumps): or you can substitute the gravy powder with cornflour/corn starch.
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves , washed
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 200C | 400F. Combine pumpkin and potatoes with just enough water to cover them, in a large saucepan/pot over medium heat, and boil until tender. Alternatively, microwave or steam them until soft. Drain well, add the butter/spread and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt to suit your tastes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate large pan over medium - high heat. Add onion, carrots and capsicum, and cook stirring for about 5 - 10 minutes, or until onions become transparent. Add the garlic and cook stirring again, for about 2 minutes. Add beef and fry until meat is browned on all sides (break up all lumps with your wooden spoon). Add the tomatoes, cover pot with lid, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes soften. When tomatoes are soft, add the peas, salt and vegetable stock powder, and simmer again covered with lid for about 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add gravy powder or cornflour/corn starch mixture. Cook stirring to combine all ingredients together until a sauce forms, reduces and thickens. Stir the spinach and parsley through, and take off heat.
- Evenly spread half the pumpkin/potato mash into a large oven proof baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture over the top, and spread remaining pumpkin mash over the top of the beef.
- Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.
- Bake until the top of the pie turns a golden brown and sauce is bubbling underneath (about 20 minutes).
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