Winter Wind Down
It’s so exciting! Winter is definitely on its way out! Next weekend, it will be officially be Spring. I’ve been noticing how much lighter it is when I leave work each evening. With the time change tonight, it will be light even later. I suppose that means it will get light later in the morning to compensate (and it will be really hard for me to get up in the morning).
Our bounty from the Winter CSA has dwindled, but we still have some vegetables left. They have stored well in plastic bags in the refrigerator. (We also have half a dozen butternut squash left in a basket in the basement.)
I was able to put together a delicious shepherd’s pie with ingredients we had on hand: ground beef from Chestnut Farms, root vegetables from Shared Harvest CSA, and other odds and ends in the refrigerator, taking my herbal inspiration from Simon & Garfunkel (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme). I diced and roasted the vegetables the night before to make this easy to throw together after work, so it came together quickly.
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
1 celery root, peeled and diced
1 tsp sage, divided
1 tsp rosemary, divided
1 tsp thyme, divided
1 onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
½ cup chopped parsley
2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
½ cup yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F. Toss diced parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, and celery root with 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp each of the sage, rosemary, and thyme. Spread the vegetables in a single layer onto a large baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized.
Place the peeled potatoes into a pot of water. Bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Before draining, set aside ¼ cup of the potato cooking water. Drain the potatoes. Whisk the potato cooking water into the yogurt. Mash the potatoes with the yogurt mixture and a generous seasoning of salt.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and ground beef. Saute, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until the onions are soft and the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. If the meat gave off a large amount of fat, drain the fat before continuing.
Add tomato paste, beef broth, and the remaining sage, rosemary, and thyme to the meat. Cook until the sauce thickens up. Stir in the roasted vegetables and the parsley.
Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the meat.
Bake until edges of the mashed potatoes start to brown, about 25-30 minutes.