Peasant's Pie

Course: Main Dish

Cooking with Co-Op Basics: Not Shepherd's Pie

Serves 4

Gluten Free, Vegan Adaptable

  One of our working group partners kindly pointed out that traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb, thus the title. This recipe would be a loose interpretation of a Peasant's Pie and relies on lentils to add healthier plant based protein, reduce the food cost, and allow flexibility for whatever lentils you have on hand.

One of our working group partners kindly pointed out that traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb, thus the title. This recipe would be a loose interpretation of a Peasant's Pie and relies on lentils to add healthier plant based protein, reduce the food cost, and allow flexibility for whatever lentils you have on hand.

Starting in November 2017 the East Side Table project began partnering with Mississippi Market for their Cooking with Co-Op Basics classes. Each recipe is an adaptation of a recipe used in the East Side Table meal delivery kits by Local Crate.

The challenge is to stay true to the heart and culture of the recipe while remaining in the $10-ish range to feed a family of four. This recipe was used for the December 2017 class and is adapted from this Local Crate recipe: Beef Marsala with Scalloped Potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup (4oz) Bulk Green Lentils $.50*
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Package Thousand Hills Ground Beef $3.24*
  • 1/4 of one small onion (about .30lbs) $.60
  • 1 Tbsp Bulk Thyme $.15*
  • 2Tsp + 1Tsp Bulk Granulated Garlic $.15*
  • 1/2 bag Our Family Frozen Peas & Carrots* $.90*
  • 2 Tbsp UNFI Raisins, chopped finely $.30*
  • 1/2 Can Tomato Paste $.75
  • 3 Medium Russet Potatoes (about 1.5lbs) $1.50
  • 4-5oz Smith Field Cream Cheese $1*
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Bulk Parsley $.10*
  • Larry Schultz Egg Yolk   $.29*
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • *Denotes Co-op Basics or bulk item

Preparation:

  1. This recipe can move quickly with a few things cooking at once. It’s best to get all your ingredients ready at the start so you don’t lose time.

  2. Start 3 Cups of water and 1/2 Cup lentils to boil over high heat (reduce to a simmer once boiling).

  3. Dice onion, finely chop the raisins, and set both aside. (Save your ends and skins in the freezer with other scraps for stock). Not sure how to dice an onion? This video is a good resource for learning how to dice an onion (something we show in almost every CWCB class): http://video.bonappetit.com/watch/dice-an-onion-in-no-time-flat

  4. Cut potatoes in quarters and slice into 1” pieces - cover with 2” water, sprinkle 1 Tsp salt, and bring to a boil.

  5. Over  medium heat in a large frying pan (with no oil), add the beef and save the rest for another recipe (pasta, tacos, grain bowls, etc). When the beef begins to brown slightly, add the chopped raisins and onions with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and break up the beef into smaller pieces using your spatula.

  6. Reduce heat to medium low. The beef and onions will release enough water and oil to prevent sticking but add a tablespoon or two of potato water if they stick.

  7. When potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, save 1 cup of water from the pot in a jar or measuring cup and drain the potatoes. Add the potatoes and cream cheese back to the pot and stir to melt and mash together. Add egg yolk, 1/2 tsp granulated garlic and 1 Tbsp parsley. Salt to taste and reserve for later.

  8. Add granulated garlic, thyme, tomato paste and 1/2 cup of potato water to beef mixture. Stir to remove any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

  9. When lentils are mostly soft (about 20-25 minutes), mix them and their water to the beef mixture along with half the bag of frozen vegetables. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes or until lentils are soft throughout. Salt to taste. If the liquid dries out, add remaining potato water in 1/4 cup portions until entire mixture is covered in a thick sauce. Meanwhile turn on your oven’s broiler to 425 or 450 degrees Farenheit.

  10. Spoon the beef filling into a pie pan or several small pans. Top evenly with mashed potatoes. (Placing several spoonfuls around the pan and smoothing together is the easiest approach)

  11. Place your pie(s) under the broiler until golden brown (5-8 minutes). Let cool slightly and serve.

Notes & Variations:

  • This would be a great recipe for using up kale/chard/collard green stems you froze from other recipes or other wilted greens that seem unsaveable (avoiding any rotting or liquidized leaves). Chop very finely and add to the beef mixture when you add the frozen vegetables.
  • You can substitute 1/4 C olive oil for cream cheese and omit the egg yolk to make this recipe dairy and/or egg free.

  • Add or substitute parsnips, apples, sweet potatoes, or other root vegetables to the mashed potato portion. Plan on 1.5lbs total but mix it up however you like. Beets and parsnips will take a bit longer to cook.

  • Substitute ground turkey or chicken for beef or use chopped medium texture tofu in 1/2” squares. You may need to add 2-3 Tbsp of oil if using tofu. You can also use only lentils or other beans if preferred. Plan on using about 1 cup dried beans if no meat or tofu. You will need to pre-cook beans in advance or use canned.