Shepard’s Pie, AKA Sara’s Pie

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As I sit here writing this post, my dog Penny is sitting on my lap. She’s only about 3 lbs and she’s the sweetest. But I swear I just heard her stomach growl and the sound that came out definitely sounded like it should come from a 30 pound dog, not a 3 pound dog. That type of hunger is the type of hunger that can only be satisfied with something as filling and yummy as Shepard’s Pie.  Like you see in the title though, this is Sara’s Pie, so there’s a bit of a variation on it. You see, I wanted to find a way to make it a little bit healthier. So I thought, I’ll make part of it with lentils and part of it with meat and add a bunch of vegetables! And it turned out beautifully. Warm and comforting, and most importantly tasty, it was exactly what I wanted it to be. Adding in beans or lentils or another legume is an easy to add in some extra fiber and nutrients to your meal. But I’m also not vegetarian so in went 1/2 a pound of ground beef too 😉 Life is all about balance, you know? Anyway, I hope you’ll try this recipe when you get a chance…it’s quite good!

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SHEPARD’S PIE AKA SARA’S PIE

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black lentils/4 cups water, salt
  • 3 medium to large russet potatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1.5 teaspoon butter

  • 1/2 an onion, diced

  • 3 stalks of celery, diced

  • 1 large carrot, diced

  • 1 lb mushrooms chopped small

  • Frozen peas and corn

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon Herbs De Provence

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon:

    Smoked paprika

    Garlic powder

  • Fresh cracked pepper

  • 1.25 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1.5 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon butter for mashed potatoes

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. Bring 4 cups of water and 1 cup of lentils to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the water that is left and set the lentils aside.
  2. Bring another pot of salted water and the potatoes to boil. Cook until they are soft and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 F
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the butter.
  5. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and sautee until soft. Add the mushrooms in after the onion celery and carrots have cooked for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add in the ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink. Add the lentils to the skillet as well.
  7. If you choose, you can also add in the frozen peas and corn at this point.
  8. Add in the seasonings, from the tomato paste down to the salt and cook this all together for a few minutes. It’s okay if the lentils get a bit mushy.
  9. Add in the flour. It will get clumpy, that’s okay.
  10. Add in the 1.5 cup of water and set it to simmer until it starts to thicken up.
  11. While the filling is coming together, take the potatoes you boiled earlier and mash them and then add the last three ingredients on the list. You don’t want super creamy mashed potatoes because that’s what helps keep the filling from bubbling over.
  12. Add the filling to a 9 by 13 baking dish and then add the mashed potatoes on top.
  13. Bake it in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Make sure to let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes before digging in!

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