Traditionally shepherd’s pie consists of ground meat and some veggies topped with a layer of mashed potatoes. Many times the meat and vegetables are mixed with some sort of tomato sauce to make a ‘gravy’ on the bottom of the dish. I chose to follow this concept but take a different turn. I used mashed sweet potatoes and carrots for the topping, which to me was a much better substitution. For the meat I made mini meatballs from some lemon herb and thyme turkey sausages. I also omitted any sort of tomato sauce. I have been lucky enough not to have much heartburn at all this pregnancy but as I’m on the home stretch I am more aware of the potential and avoid foods (for the most part) that will bring it on. The few times I have experienced it I’ve taken a gulp of apple cider vinegar and it’s immediately taken it away. You can also drink some apple cider vinegar before you eat your meal which will prevent the onset. This meal was pretty simple to throw together but I have come to realize I need to start modifying my recipes to spend less time in the kitchen. The prep work takes a toll on my back and by the end all I want to do is sit down. I feel somewhat conflicted about this as my job just ended so I have the time to cook but not the stamina. I guess this is all part of the fun.
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 yam, peeled and chopped
- 1 white sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- leek, sliced into half moons
- garlic, chopped
- 2 large stalks celery, chopped
- 8 oz baby bellas, sliced
- 2 links turkey sausage, I used lemon herb and thyme from Whole Foods
- pecorino romano
- thyme, 1-2 tsp
- olive oil
- First make mashed carrots and sweet potatoes. Place sweet potatoes and carrot in a pot and just about cover with milk. Bring to a low boil and cook until all are for tender. Drain reserving the milk. Mash, I used my immersion blender, adding milk until desired consistency is reached. Season with s&p. Set aside.
- Remove the turkey sausage from the casing and roll mini meatballs. In a sauté pan, heat up a bit of olive oil and brown meatballs. Once cooked remove and set aside.
- In the sausage drippings add the leek and garlic cooking until lightly browned. Add in the celery and thyme; continue to cook 2 more minutes. Next add in the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid. Mix in the meatballs and grate in some pecorino romano, as much as you’d like. Season with s&p.
- In a casserole dish spread the veggie/meatball mixture in an even layer. Top with the mashed carrots and sweet potatoes. Make small peaks for them to brown as the dish cooks. I was impatient and hungry so I didn’t let mine brown as much as I could have. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350° oven until everything is heated through.