It’s cold outside. The sky keeps spitting chunks of frozen water and blowing in my face. I can hear my nose whistling in the wind. I need something warm, comforting, rich and meaty with plenty of vegetables. Do you share my feelings?
Shepherd’s Pie with Creamy Poblano Sauce
For the pie:
1.5 lbs ground beef, lamb, or turkey
2 tsp. butter or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup green vegetable, chopped – I used cabbage, but green beans, zucchini – whatever you have
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
~1 cup Creamy Poblano Sauce, or to taste (below)
For the topping:
1/2 large head cauliflower, in florets
4 parsnips (or use whole head of cauliflower)
1/2 – 1 cup milk
Butter to taste
Preheat oven to 375.
Steam cauliflower and parsnips until soft (I did this in the microwave). Blend in food processor with butter, a pinch of salt, and enough milk to make it the consistency of mashed potatoes. Set aside. (Can be made ahead.)
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil or butter and saute the onions, green vegetable, and carrots until tender. Add the frozen peas and cook 1 more minute. Add the meat and cook, breaking up pieces with your spoon, until browned. Stir in the poblano cream sauce and heat through.
Pour meat mixture into a large baking pan. Spread the cauliflower mash over the top. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbling.
Creamy Poblano Sauce
5 poblano chili peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cumin seeds, ground
1/2 cup chicken broth
½ cup milk of choice
1/2 to 1 cup ricotta cheese (to taste)
Salt and pepper
Heat a deep skillet over medium-high and melt the butter. Saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the cumin and poblanos; cook about five more minutes. Add skillet contents to a food processor with the chicken broth and process until smooth; return to the skillet. Add milk and ricotta and simmer about five more minutes.
Delicious and versatile. Use some to make the shepherd’s pie, then eat the rest on anything else you like. I dolloped it on grilled meat, scrambled it into eggs with spinach, and tossed it with cabbage-fennel-pepper slaw.