I’ve been neglecting my blog for the last few weeks, but I’m back. The farmers’ market is in full swing with spring produce, so I’ve got a few good recipes lined up for the next couple weeks. This weekend, my freezer was full of ground meat from Marin Sun Farms and I wanted to try something other than burgers. I gathered up some good looking spring vegetables at the farmers market and set to work on a shepherd’s pie. Or, apparently, it’s a cottage pie, since it’s made with beef and not lamb. Whatever it is called, it was good. I continued the spring theme with a simple spinach and strawberry salad and served it all up with a bottle of Sonoma zinfandel for a really great dinner.
I cooked the dish in a 8×10 casserole dish and it made about 4 large servings. I think next time around, I might double the recipe and make it in a 9×13 so that it’s a little thicker and deeper. Plus, it was good enough that we wanted more leftovers.
Shepherd’s Pie with Spring Vegetables
Loosely inspired by Elise’s version at Simply Recipes
1 lb of ground round beef
3 spring onions, finely minced
2-3 sprigs of green garlic, chopped
2 cups of chopped carrots and peas
About 2 pounds of potatoes – I used about 4 medium ones
A few springs of thyme and a few sage leaves, minced
1 teaspoon chives, finely minced
1/4 cup of milk or cream
Butter and olive oil
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice
Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
While the potatoes are cooking, heat up a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Saute the onions and carrots for 5-10 minutes, until the carrots start to soften. Add the green garlic and mix together.
Add ground beef and herbs, sauteing until just about cooked. Turn off the heat and add the peas, salt, and pepper, and stir together.
When the potatoes are finished, drain and return to the pot. Mash them, incorporating the minced chives, salt and pepper, a splash of cream, and a couple pats of butter.
Spread the beef and vegetable mixture at the bottom of the pan and gently spread the potatoes over it. Bake at 400 degrees oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes), sticking under the broiler if necessary and serve.
Strawberry Spinach Salad for Two
3 cups of spinach, washed and chopped up into ribbons
4-5 large strawberries, sliced
an ounce or two of crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used blood orange infused from Stonehouse)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
a drop of honey
salt and pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and the honey until its emulsified. Add salt and pepper. Add the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the goat cheese and serve.