I received product samples for this shepherd’s pie recipe at no charge to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.
With the beginning of fall comes my desire to get back into the kitchen and cook more. The weather is cooler and I have a serious need for ‘comfort food’ when the days start getting shorter. Shepherd’s pie just screams ‘comfort food’ in my mind. It is a British meat pie with a mashed potato ‘crust’. It has gone through a number of variations over the years in terms of the type of meat used, whether there is a top and bottom crust or not, and the flavors used to enhance the dish. Generally though, as with most English food, this is not a bold and spicy sort of dish. Some variety of meat and vegetables is topped with potatoes of some sort and baked til warm and bubbly. The version I made this weekend included grass fed beef, leeks, and mixed vegetables with plenty of garlic and ginger for flavor.
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I am passionate about only buying grass fed beef. Not only is it better for our own health but it is SO much better for the health of our planet. Cows raised in feed lots (which is where most of this country’s beef comes from) is fed mainly corn and soy and other grains that they are not meant to be eating. Cows are designed for eating GRASS and the meat you get from an animal raised free on the range has a totally different flavor and nutritional profile than cattle that are raised in a feed lot. Not to mention the fact that no animal should be confined to live on a feed lot for it’s entire life!
Strauss Free Raised® Grass Fed Beef farmers are passionate about the grass they grow and the animals that are being raised on it. Their cattle are raised slowly and patiently, to produce great tasting grass fed beef. Here are just a few things you should know about Strauss Free Raised Grass Fed Beef:
• 100% grass fed and grass finished
• Raised on open pastures; never raised in feedlots
• Never administered antibiotics or growth hormones
• Agriculturally sustainable and environmentally friendly
• Born and raised in the USA by family farmers
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The Strauss ground beef I was sent was the perfect addition to my delicious shepherd’s pie recipe this week. Who can resist deliciously flavorful meat and veggies topped with potatoes and cheese, right?
When I was searching for a shepherds pie recipe online, I came across a lot of ideas. Some used onion, some used cabbage, some used mixed vegetables. There didn’t seem to be one recipe that jumped out and said “MAKE ME!”. Since I had bought some leeks the week before at Sprout’s Farmers’ Market I decided to go with leeks and mixed vegetables in my shepherd’s pie. It really was a delicious combination! I added a TON of cheese to the whipped mashed potatoes and I can honestly say that it was about the most heavenly creation I think I have had in a long time! I was eating the cheesy mashed potatoes right out of the mixing bowl!
If you are in the mood for warm, filling comfort food, I highly recommend you try making this shepherd’s pie recipe. You can be very flexible with the meat and veggies that you use. Ground lamb, ground turkey, or leftover chunks of stew meat will all work just fine. I wanted to make my shepherd’s pie in individual serving sized bowls but putting it in a pie dish or a 9 inch by 9 inch baking dish will work just fine, too. This recipe made 4 very generous servings. My husband ate one by himself. My 14 year old son ALMOST ate an entire bowl. My daughter and I didn’t even try and decided to share one between us. So, depending on how hungry your family is, you will get 4 to 6 servings out of this recipe.
Shepherd’s Pie Recipe with Leeks
I would honestly be lost without ground beef in our freezer. It is pretty much a staple in my kitchen but I refuse to support farmers and ‘agribusinesses’ that do not raise their animals with a concern for our environment and the health and well being of the animals. If you would like to know more about grass fed beef or where to find the Strauss brand in your area, you can connect with them on Facebook!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.