Italian Shepards Pie (crockpot base)

Didi Dalaba

By
@didicoffeegirl

This is a recipe I long ago tweaked to fit my family's busy lifestyle. I love Shepard's pie, ADORE IT!! However it can be quite time consuming as you know to make for a busy mom during the work week.

This certainly can be made with ground beef only as the traditional way. However, I wanted to kick it up a notche, simply because I love vegetables.
So I created this dish for the base of the shepherds pie to be cooked in the crock pot, chock full of vegetables. But the best part was using Italian sausage as the base. Can you say "absolutely out of this world good"??
WE CAN!!


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Comments:

Serves:

8-10

Prep:

35 Min

Cook:

45 Min

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS PIE BASE

5
italian sausage casings removed and crumbled
2 medium
yellow/orange/red (whatever you have on hand) peppers roughly diced
3 c
button bella mushrooms sliced in half
1 large
onion roughly diced
3 large
carrots roughly diced
2 large
celery stalks roughly diced
2 small
zucchini roughly diced
3 Tbsp
olive oil
1 tsp
dried thyme
1 tsp
each salt & pepper
1 tsp
granulated garlic powder
1 can(s)
(14.5) oz beef broth

TO BE ADDED AFTER CROCKPOT COOKING

1/3 c
instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 c
parmesan cheese
1/2 c
fresh chopped parsley

MASHED POTATO TOPPING

8 medium
potatoes peeled and diced in cubes
1 tsp
dried thyme
3/4 c
grated parmesan cheese
1
egg
4 Tbsp
butter
1/2 c
milk
1/2 tsp
salt
pinch of pepper

EXTRA TOPPINGS

1/4 c
pecorino romano (or any sharp cheese ex, asiago)
1/2 tsp
paprika
pinch of pepper

Directions Step-By-Step

1
In a large skillet add your 3 tbsp of olive oil and heat to high, add your casings removed sausage and saute till no longer pink.
2
Prepare your crock pot by drizzling 1 tbsp olive oil and coating it.

Dice all your veggies and and place in crock pot. I usually do this the night before except for the mushrooms and keep them in water till the next morning when I'm ready to prepare this.
3
Add your dried seasonings over the veggies and finally add your sausage. Pour in your beef stock. Cover and cook on high for 3-1/2 - 4 hours or on low for 6-1/2 - 7 hours. This will ensure nicely cooked vegetables without them becoming mushy.

When you come home, remove the shepard's pie base mixture from the crock pot and using a slotted spoon (you don't want all the excess juices), add the mixture to a pre coated 13 x 9 casserole dish). Add in your instant potato flakes, your Parmesan cheese and finally your fresh parsley. Stir thoroughly and set aside to cool.
4
As the base is cooling, let's start on the decadent mashed potato topping!
Peel and cube your potatoes and place in pan with enough water and a few pinches of salt till nice and tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Once cooked till tender, drain and return potatoes back to pan. Using a hand masher, mash larger chunks etc. Add remaining ingredients except the Parmesan cheese and egg into the hot potatoes. Using a hand mixer now, whip till nice and creamy.
Now add your egg & Parmesan cheese and whip again. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375F.
5
Spread the whipped mashed potatoes over the base mixture and spread evenly.
6
Sprinkle Pecorino Romano cheese along with the paprika and pepper
7
bake for 35-45 minutes till topping is nicely golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.
This would be a perfect time to slice up some fresh tomatoes to go with this, or toss together a salad.

Cut into squares, try and contain yourself, heaven's knows I had to!!!
8
Plate onto plate and serve with your favorite salad or vegetable, grab yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!! Knowing you made this amazing gourmet meal in 1 hour on a work week night!! *cheers*

About this Recipe

Regional Style: Italian
Other Tags: For Kids, Healthy