Monday, March 7, 2011

Asparagus Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is a traditional New England casserole usually made with corn, but this is a great twist on the classic. The things I love most about this dish are the sage flavored potatoes, which are wonderful, and all of the asparagus. When combined with the meat, it makes for a delicious and hearty meal. This is one of our favorite fall/winter meals and is also loved by our extended family that lives in Tennessee. Whenever they visit, they request that I make this for them. Hope you enjoy it too!

Asparagus Shepherd's Pie
(adapted from a recipe in the 1998 Taste of Home Annual Recipes Cookbook)

3 lbs red potatoes, skin left on, quartered
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp cracked blacked pepper
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 cans (10-3/4 oz) condensed Cream of Asparagus Soup, undiluted (I use reduced fat, if I can find it or you can use homemade)
1 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup milk (this is approximate, use desired amount)
1/4 cup margarine or butter (I use light margarine)
1 1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot, cover potatoes with water, bring to a boil and cook until very tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, season ground beef with seasoned salt and cracked pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes. Then add the onions and garlic and continue to cook until beef is cooked through and onions are tender. Drain and remove from heat. Stir the soup into the meat and mix well. Then pour meat mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish greased with cooking spray.

Cook the asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and then place over the top of the meat mixture.

When potatoes are tender, drain and then mash with the milk, butter, sage and salt. Then place over the top of the asparagus. Sprinkle the top of the potatoes evenly with the shredded cheese.

Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbling and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

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