"This is so good! Seriously, it's amazing. I am so happy with this meal."
My boyfriend looked up at me from his plate as I raved about the dinner I just made.
This curried shepherd's pie is just that good. It'll make even the humblest of chefs pretty damn conceited. It's comforting, filling and packs a ton of flavor - thanks to a generous amount of curry and cumin. Plus, it has both of my essential food groups: meat and potatoes.
But on top of all that, the ingredients are easy to shop for: 1 bag of potatoes, a package of ground beef, and a bag of frozen veggies. And of course, odds and ends from your fridge and pantry (an onion, chicken broth, canned tomatoes, milk, butter and spices).
- 6 potatoes, peeled and quartered (or about 1-1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons curry powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds ground lean beef
- 1 cup crushed, canned tomatoes
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- One 16 oz bag frozen springtime vegetable medley
- 1/2 cup milk (almond or lactose)
- 3 tablespoons butter
1. Start cooking the potatoes: Put the potatoes into a large pot and add enough water to cover. Cover and bring to the boil and cook until the potatoes are tender to the core when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook the beef mixture: As the potatoes cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
3. Add the beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the tomatoes, broth and sugar. Simmer and stir occasionally about 20-30 minutes.
4. And while that's cooking, heat the frozen veggies: Meanwhile, bring add the frozen vegetables to a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a low simmer until the vegetables are heated through, about 10-15 minutes. Drain.
5. Finish making mashed potatoes: Drain the potatoes and put into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix over low speed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.) Add milk and 2 tablespoons butter while the mixer is still mixing.
6. Assemble the pie! Heat an eight-cup baking dish and spoon the still-hot beef mixture into it. Top with the vegetable medley, and then hot mashed potatoes. Smooth over the top. Dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. (See photo below.)
7. Run the mixture under the broiler until the top is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving.
The inspiration: I adapted this recipe from the New York Times. I rarely follow recipes to the letter because I prefer to put my own spin on them. In this case, I added more vegetables, added a lot more curry and cumin (moar flavor!), and used almond milk instead of lactose milk. You'd be surprised by how creamy the savory the potatoes were.