One of the biggest concerns of parents is to get their kids to eat vegetables. Oftentimes, the tactic is to hide some bits and pieces into patties or omelettes just so our little ones can have some fiber. Try our modified Shepherd’s Pie Recipe. It’s so yummy that people wouldn’t notice the vegetables you dumped in it. Read on.
Why We Made This Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Our kids are avid fans of the Master Chef Junior TV Series. So much so that the only Ramsay they know is the British chef, Gordon Ramsay.
- Related: Teaching Kids to Cook
On one of the episodes, I think they heard the great chef mention about Shepherd’s Pie as an English dish. Since they like ideas pertaining to the English, they asked me to make it.
I ordered lean ground beef from The Butcher’s Daughter here in Bacolod City. It has to be lean so that there’s not much oil as well as sebo (tallow). It ruins the dish and you cannot just remove them from ground meat, unlike with beef chunks.
From barter, I got some potatoes that was almost a kilo. And we had some Canlaon veggies in the refrigerator, too. So instead of the regular Shepherd’s Pie, I made something that has lots of vegetables for the nutrients and the fiber.
- Related: Homemade Fried Cauli Rice Recipe
This is a recipe that I modified from one that was tested by my British friend, Robert Harland. Hope he forgives me for making a fusion version. hehe
My Shepherd’s Pie Recipe Loaded with Vegetables
As per nutritional requirements, it is recommended that we have at least five servings of vegetables per day. That’s part of a healthy diet. But honestly, we cannot even do that. We try, but we do not get enough.
So if vegetables are available at home, I try to feed the kids as much as possible. Thankfully, they are not squeamish with vegetables, except perhaps for eggplant and patola.
Anyway, here’s my veggie-loaded Shepherd’s Pie Recipe. Hope your family would like it as much as mine did.
- Cooking oil
- 4-5 cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 kilo lean ground beef
- Assorted vegetables, like
- 2 carrots, sliced into small cubes
- A bunch of Baguio beans, sliced thinly
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbsps. tomato paste
- ½ cup cooking wine or white wine
- 1 pc. dried bay leaf
- 2 Tbsps. flour
- 1 cup leaves (Alugbati, malunggay, or saluyot), chopped coarsely
- ¼ cup Parsley, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into small cubes
For the topping:
- 4 large potatoes, washed well but boiled unpeeled
- 1 slice squash (about 1 part of the potatoes for a 4:1 ratio), boiled
- ½ cup fresh milk
- 3-4 Tbsps. butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsps. Arla Cheesy Spread
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
If squash is cheaper in the market, you may want to increase its portion. Make it 2 parts squash to three parts potato. That way, you have more vegetables but you won’t lose the texture and character of the mashed potato that this dish requires.
1. Prepare all the ingredients and preheat the oven only when you are already assembling the pie.
2. In a skillet, heat the cooking oil and saute the garlic and onions for about a minute. I stir-fried the carrots and beans for a minute then added the lean ground beef. Cook through. Season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally.
3. Pour in the wine and the tomato paste. Drop in the bay leaf. Sprinkle the flour all over and stir. Mix well and bring to a boil.
4. Stir in the soft vegetables and bell pepper. Mix and cook for about another minute. These leafy greens as well as the bell pepper wilt very fast, so you don’t need to overcook them. Turn off heat.
For the topping
You may do this before you saute your meat. Or you can do these two together, if you can effectively multi-task. Otherwise, it’s okay to make the mashed potato topping beforehand so you will not get distracted.
In a pot, boil the potatoes together with the squash and some salt until you can poke them with a fork. The squash cooks faster than the potatoes, so just remove it ahead. Otherwise, you will get a squash soup with whole potatoes because squash will eventually disintegrate. Place the squash in a shallow bowl where you are going to mash the potatoes.
When the potatoes are cooked, remove from heat. Let it cool a bit and peel. I like peeling them while they are still hot so that I can immediately add the butter and it melts on the potatoes.
Sprinkle some salt and black pepper then mash them altogether. Mix in the fresh milk and the Arla cheesy spread.
If you think that your mashed potato is too thick and heavy, you may add a bit more milk by a tablespoonful each time. You don’t want it too runny, but you don’t want it too dry either. What you want to achieve is a consistency that makes it is easily spreadable over the meat.
Taste it if it is seasoned enough. It has to be just right because, not too salty because you still have to top your pie with cheese. And your meat is already seasoned.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Transfer the meat mixture in a baking container and remove the bay leaf. I used an oval glass ovenware with these dimensions: 13” x 9.5” x 2.5”. Flatten the meat.
3. Layer the mashed potato and squash mixture. This is where you need to get there right consistency. If it’s too thick, you cannot spread it on top of the meat. Remember, the meat is saucy and there’s big solids holding it up.
5. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top. You may want to add some chopped parsley or some basil leaves as garnish.
6. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top has browned a bit.
7. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Because it has a lot of meat, the kids ate their Shepherd’s Pie with rice. That’s okay, we are Pinoys anyway.
Where to Buy Beef
In Bacolod City, I got my lean ground beef from The Butcher’s Daughter. For orders, contact them through Mobile (0977) 746 8716. Or you may send them a message on their Facebook page: TheButchersDaughter
This is also my supplier for the beef chunks and beef camto that I used for the following recipes:
- Korean Beef Stew Recipe: Restaurant-Style Cooking with Beef Camto
- Homemade Garlic Corned Beef Recipe by Mommy Sigrid
- Beef Pares Recipe Using Flank Steak (Beef Camto)