Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Night Haramfest: Greek Shepherd's Pie

It has been a cold, blustery day. We stayed in and played cribbage. That's what you do when you're broke. In fact, it was rather nice! Dinner tonight was a variation of Shepherds Pie - Greek style. It wasn't quite a moussaka, which is like a shepherds pie without the potatoes and a bechamel cheese sauce on top. This is a traditional shepherds pie, with mashed potatoes on top.

I modified the recipe from Epicurious.

1 large eggplant, unpeeled, cubed
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 s1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes, or stewed tomatoes that you crush with your hands.
1 tablespoon of greek seasoning: (fennel seeds, oregano, thyme, marjoram and cinnamon.
1 small bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider or a white wine of your choosing
1 small can beef broth
2 heaping serving spoons of flour
2 lbs. ground chuck
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste.

5 large white, peeled potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup light cream or half and half
1/2 stick of butter
olive oil non stick spray
grated Parmesan cheese

This recipe makes a TON of food, which was good, because Unit Number One got to take leftovers home with her after supper.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil and about 2 tablespoons of butter and begin to saute the diced vegetables, Greek seasoning, sparkling cider and tomatoes. When everything begins to bubble, place in the heated oven, uncovered to continue to cook. This will cut down on cooking time when the mashed potatoes are added.

Brown the ground chuck, seasoning with salt and pepper, and add this to the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and veggies, and when thoroughly mixed, add the can of beef broth, and place it all back into the oven to cook some more.

Boil potatoes in salted water, covered until fork tender. Drain in colander. Heat cream and butter in the same pot in which you boiled your potatoes, and when hot, add the drained potatoes and mash.

Remove meat and veggies from the oven and pour the potatoes over. Spray with olive oil nonstick spray and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top. Set oven to broil and place back into the oven to brown on top.

Feeds approximately 10 people...11, if the finicky youngest child turns her nose up at it...which she DID, and opts for ramen noodles, instead.

I could have used all the burners on my stove, but we are trying to save on electricity. You know how it is.


  1. I saw your msg on my blog. What kind of help were you looking for? You didnt say exactly. :)

  2. I gotta make this. Dutch oven meals are huge out in Idaho. thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Seanymph and Lynndeepoo! I had leftover veggie/meat filling and I added that to farfalle as leftovers and well, yum is the indictment, and all gone is the judge's decision. All I gots ta say bout dat.
    As for the help in mixing herbal blends, seanymph, I saw on your website that you are really into herbs, and I would also like to be as well. This year I am growing indoors Basil, Thyme, Tarragon, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Sage and a host of other delicious herbs. I don't know if I will dry them, perhaps, but I really want to be able to mix them into delicious blends and cut out the amounts I have to actually buy.

  4. I'd like to grow my own herbs too: at least I'll know how old they are. It just drives me nuts to spend a five dollar bill on a small amount of Tarragon and pretty much know it's older than a Delaware quarter.

  5. One of the reasons that I like dried herbs so much is that they are cheap. We have a lot of family/farmer's markets and we can buy herb plants for a dollar or two. My friend Nessa starts her herbal garden indoors, and plants them after the frost. For about 20 dollars, she planted rosemary, thyme, lavender, marjoram, sage, basil and many others. She has a lovely herb garden.

  6. seanymph12:43 PM

    If for some reason you cant grow a certain herb, go to your local health food store. Many sell dried herbs in bulk. This is what I do for small amts of things, instead of buying those expensive little jars in the stores. I can refill one of those for less than a dollar most times. I now buy in bulk from Mountain Rose herbs in Oregon tho for things I use alot. They are organic and their products are excellent.

  7. Thanks, so much, seanymph. Today I found a little Amish farmer's market tucked away in a very out of the way place, and they have all their herbs in little plastic bags, unmixed for a mere buck or so. I can get some little cans at the craft store and begin to mix my own herbs!


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