So the weather outside today felt more like summer than autumn but I was still in the mood for my autumnal version of the perennial classic, Shepherd’s Pie. I had some acorn squash that I was looking forward to cooking up, and Shepherd’s Pie was the perfect use for it.
It’s a simple meal, but both my DH and I love Shepherd’s Pie. I especially love changing it up a little, as I did tonight. Enjoy!
Autumn Shepherd’s Pie
1 lb of potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 acorn squash, cooked
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese, divided
1 lb ground beef
2 TBSP flour
1 cup beef broth
2 TBSP ketchup
3-4 cups vegetables
First, make the mashed potatoes. Boil the potatoes and garlic in water or broth until tender (alternatively, you can just add garlic powder later in the mashed potato mixture). Mash the potatoes together with the cooked squash, yogurt, milk and 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese.
Brown the ground beef in a large pan. When it’s completely browned, sprinkle the flour over it and stir in. Add the broth and ketchup; mix thoroughly. Add the vegetables (note on the veggies: you can use pretty much any veggie you have on hand, but root vegetables work especially well. I used a combination of carrots and acorn squash this time around. Also, frozen veggies work best; if you use fresh, steam them a little to soften them before adding them to the ground beef.) and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
Pour the meat mixture into a casserole dish. Drop large spoonfuls of the mashed potato mixture over the meat mixture.
Carefully spread the potato mixture over the meat mixture, sealing it in.
Cook at 375 F for about 15 minutes or so, then top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until cheese is melted.
This recipe is so flexible: you can get really creative with the vegetables, and the cheese too. Try it also with ground turkey or chicken for different flavors.
This post was originally published in Oct 2009.