Shepherd’s Pie


For the last several weeks, I’ve been tinkering with this recipe and making it our own. Besides the gargantuan portion size of this recipe, I get to serve it in adorable 14 oz. red stoneware ramekins [see below].

I found these little beauties at Target for $10 per pair – one of the best purchases I’ve made, by far. In fact, I’m considering going back to get more, just in case I decide to make this meal for some guests in the future.

RECIPE NOTES: First, remember that you can switch out veggies in this meal. I have even used shelled edamame! After trial and error, I’ve settled on onions, carrots, and peas. Pretty standard ingredients, and that’s for good reason. I’m not too fond of cooked carrot every day, however, so on finicky days, I substitute an extra portion of peas or, as I mentioned, edamame. Second, this meals is not lacking for flavor, but you need to be bold! I expend most of my flavoring boldness in the mashed potatoes – I go to town. We’re talking basil, parsley, thyme, sage, extraordinary amounts of garlic, and a heaping tsp of pepper. I’ve toned down the seasoning for normal palettes in this recipe, but know that you can really explore with herbs and spices here and be pretty safe!

Lastly, you don’t have to use two 14 oz. ramekins. You can also use a standard pie plate. But oh, the ramekins are so fun!

Shepherd’s Pie

2 14oz. red ramekins – color optional
2 7.5 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes
1lb – 1 1/4lb russet potato – cut into quarters or sixths for quicker cooking
2/3 cup chicken broth (or, 1/2 cup water)
1 medium onion (160-180g)
1 medium carrot (80g) – diced to 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cup frozen green peas (86g)
1 TBS Flour
1 TBS tomato paste
3/4 TBS Worcestershire sauce
4 TBS sour cream
1 TBS 1% milk
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1 tsp parsley
5 garlic cloves (or to taste) – minced

Set oven rack into top third of oven. Preheat over to 425 degrees. Fill bottom of double-boiler 1/4 way full, spread potato wedges evenly into top portion of double boiler, place lid, and turn heat to high [if you don’t have a double boiler, simply fill pot of water 3/4 way, toss in potatoes, and let boil]. Let steam or boil 15-20 minutes, or until potato is easily mashed with a fork.

Meanwhile, combine chicken cubes with 1 tsp pepper and lightly brown in non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Remove browned chicken from pan. Add chicken broth (or water) and deglaze. Add carrots, onion, and 2 garlic cloves. Cook 2 minutes.

Add flour by spreading it evenly over the mixture in the pan and stirring thoroughly. Be spreading it in a thin layer and then mixing it in, you avoid clumping. Add tomato paste. Combine thoroughly.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Return browned chicken to the pan and add Worcestershire sauce. Let simmer until liquid thickens and reduces – about five minutes. If you prefer more sauce, let it simmer just a minute or two or add more broth. Add peas and allow to simmer again – 1 minute [see Fig. 1 below].

Remove potatoes from heat and drain excess water. If you have a stand mixer, toss your potatoes into the bowl, along with the sour cream, milk, and remainder of herbs and spices. Set mixer to medium speed and let it whip potatoes for 3-5 minutes, or until fluffy [see Fig. 2 below]. If you don’t have a stand mixer, then put potatoes, sour cream, milk, and herbs and spices in a nice bowl. Proceed with a potato masher and a little elbow grease. A friend or significant other comes in handy for this task.

Remove pan from heat and divide mix evenly into TWO RED 14 OZ. RAMEKINS [see Fig. 3 below]. Heap mashed potatoes atop the mix and spread evenly to the very edges of each dish [see Fig. 4 below]. Put both dishes on a foil-covered cookie sheet and place in oven. Cook 25-30 minutes, or until potato is nicely browned on top [see Fig. 5 below]. Remove and serve!

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Calorie Breakdown

1 14 oz. red ramekin – [0 calories]
7.5 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast [200 calories]
9 oz. russet potato [205 calories]
1/2 medium onion [36 calories]
1/2 medium carrot [6 calories]
1/3 cup frozen green peas [35 calories]
1/3 cup chicken broth [3 calories]
1/2 TBS tomato paste [7 calories]
1/2 TBS flour [13 calories]
1/2 TBS Worcestershire sauce [5 calories]
2 TBS fat-free sour cream [20 calories]
1/2 TBS 1% milk [7 calories]
TOTAL CALORIES: 537 calories



2 Responses to “Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. 1 Deanne

    Oh yes, I’ve got to try this, but that will mean that I must borrow your Mom’s oven…it would be worth it though!

  2. 2 Beth

    I’m thinking that the red ramekins would actually be negative calories vs. zero calories. They have no added nutritional value, but if you were to actually eat one, I feel like you’d probably burn calories through the digestive process. Yes?

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