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moroccan spiced shepherd's pie

Recipe by
Janus Joy Miller
Friendswood, TX

Just a last minute concoction of available ingredients that turned out well enough to share. When I made it, I went the entirely fat-free route, including rinsing the cooked beef, and it was delicious. If I were not to choose fat-free, I would have mashed the potatoes with butter and half and half. Another option might be to layer the potatoes with a mild softer cheese that wouldn't overpower the flavor of the mrouzia spice, which is what really makes the dish.

yield 6 serving(s)
prep time 10 Min
cook time 45 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For moroccan spiced shepherd's pie

  • 2 lb
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lb
    lean ground beef
  • non-stick cooking spray, olive oil, or butter
  • 4 lg
  • 1 lg
    red onion
  • 2 c
    beef stock or the equivalent bouillon
  • 1 can
    San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 2 can
    plain pinto beans (15.5 oz each)
  • 1 c
    water, more or less, for simmering as needed
  • 1 pinch
    red pepper flakes
  • 4 Tbsp
    mrouzia Persian spice blend (aka "sweet ras el hanout")
  • 2 Tbsp
    flour (optional, for thickening)

How To Make moroccan spiced shepherd's pie

  • 1
    Add potatoes to a pot of salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until just tender.
  • 2
    Salt and pepper the ground beef to taste.
  • 3
    Using a non-stick pan or a pan sprayed with cooking oil (or olive oil or butter if you're not watching calories),
  • 4
    Cook the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up into teaspoon size chunks. (You don't want it too small. Also, don't work it too much.) Turn it gently, very occasionally, until it's browned and cooked through.
  • 5
    While the beef is cooking (or before) peel and cut the carrots into cubes about the size of a chickpea.
  • 6
    Chop the onion about the same size as the carrots.
  • 7
    Fat free option: When the beef is browned, transfer it to a wire mesh strainer to drain the fat, and rinse it under hot water to remove more fat. Don't use the flour if you choose fat free as the flour needs the fat to work as a thickener.
  • 8
    Making use of the fat option: If you're not watching calories, you can make a roux at this point by adding two Tbsp or so of flour to the beef in the pan. Stir it gently so not to break up the beef while the flour is toasting, then transfer it all to a bowl and set aside, or use a separate pan to saute the onions and carrots.
  • 9
    I rinsed the pan at this point, but you can just use another pan to saute the onions and carrots, then add back in the beef.
  • 10
    Pour in the stock slowly if you've made a roux, or all at once if you've chosen the low-fat option.
  • 11
    Add the canned whole San Marzano tomatoes and break them up with a spatula. (I use Cento brand as they're in a nice thick sauce.)
  • 12
    Add the pinto beans (including the bean liquor), red pepper flakes, and mrouzia spice. Stir gently.
  • 13
    Add water if it looks too thick, then cover and simmer about 15 minutes.
  • 14
    While the stew is simmering, check the potatoes for doneness, and when they're just tender enough to easily insert a fork, remove them from the heat, strain them and plunge them into ice cold water.
  • 15
    Slice the potatoes and set aside. If they're a bit overcooked and falling apart, you can make mashed potatoes out of them.
  • 16
    Check the beef mixture. When the carrots are tender, and it's about the consistency of a thick chili, transfer it to a casserole dish.
  • 17
    Lay the potatoes on top of the beef mixture, and either brush with melted butter or olive oil or spray with cooking spray.
  • 18
    Put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the top is just browned and a bit crispy.