Leftover Makeover - Shepherd's Pie
I think stretching the budget is made easier by the use of leftovers. I had about 2 cups of mashed potatoes leftover Friday (really more of a planned ahead thing as I'd thought I'd make potato pancakes). This past weekend I made a crockpot dinner of Pot Roast with vegetables. It was not a large piece of chuck roast, perhaps a pound before cooking and we all know how that meat shrinks when cooked. I portioned out the meat in three pieces, and left one in the crockpot with the cooking broth. After dinner I put the meat and broth in the fridge. I think there was about 2 cups of broth.
That was the basis of this leftover makeover of Shepherd's Pie.
I got creative to stretch the little piece of meat, which I cubed into smaller pieces. I had some portabella mushrooms and cut onion in the fridge. I started by dicing about 2/3 cup of mushrooms. I started those cooking with a pat of butter and added in about 1/4 cup finely diced onion. The mushrooms have a nice meaty texture anyway and the happy ability to take on the flavor of whatever you pair it with. In this case, I was sure of getting a bit of extra 'beef'.
I made a piecrust as the base of my Shepherd's Pie. It is not typical but I felt it would add bulk to the dish in this case, which was needed. Finally, I planned to season the potatoes a little more than usual, again as a way of increasing the taste value of the meal.
3-4 ounces leftover beef pot roast (more if you are serving more obviously but this is sufficient for two)
2 cups of beef broth, preferably that in which the meat cooked
2/3 cup diced portabella mushrooms
1 pat of butter
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tbsps of cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water
2 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 9-inch pastry shell
Dice meat. Set broth aside.
Melt a pat of butter. Saute the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, then add the onion and cook vegetables until the onions are translucent. Put in a bowl and set aside.
Add broth to the pan. Heat to a slow boil over medium heat. Add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until mixture thickens slightly. Add mushrooms, onions and roast beef to the broth. Taste in case seasoning adjustments need to be made. Allow to cool slightly.
Mix potatoes, flour, garlic, cheese and egg until blended.
Pour cooled beef, gravy and mushroom mixture into pastry shell. Top with daubs of mashed potato mixture.
Bake at 400F about 40 minutes until filling is bubbly and potatoes are nicely browned on top.
This entree was served with fresh Brussels Sprouts and John had a slice of bread. It was not heavy but it was filling. We ate 1 1/2 servings each with that quarter portion pictured above leftover. John never once mentioned there not being enough meat in the dish, which leads me to believe he hadn't noticed it missing. Hooray mushrooms for doing the job! You could add peas and carrots if you wanted to stretch it a bit further, but I was out of peas and John doesn't care for carrots. I would also suggest a serving of fruit to go along with this dish. Something chilled (like ambrosia or pineapple) would be a nice contrast to the hot dish.