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We call this a Shepherd’s pie even though it is technically a cottage pie. We had beautiful carrots, zucchini, and squash that were home-grown. I chopped them into chunky pieces to make a real peasant stew. My father brought fresh Rosemary and Thyme. Rosemary is a strong herb and works well in stronger sauces like tomato sauce. This is also why I used a red wine instead of a white. It was hard to time all the vegetables, but they all came out tender, yet with a bite. I love the flavor and aroma that fresh herbs add to the dish. The red wine and crushed tomatoes make a low-fat  sauce that tastes like it took forever to make. Hearty, Homey, Heavenly.

Ingredients: (I left my pieces on the bigger side)

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped whites onions
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups chopped squash
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • about 5 potatoes
  • 2 lb. Ground beef
  • cream
  • Red Wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 ears of corn
  • 1 stick of butter
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder.

(You will need to have boiled potatoes ready when necessary)

1. In a huge metal pot, sauté the chopped carrots for about 2-3 minutes in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder.

2. Add the zucchini and squash and re-season in the same manner. In the meantime, using a different metal pot, caramelize the chopped onions over high heat. Season as before. After about 4 minutes, add 1/2 the minced garlic and corn kernels. After a minute, add the onions to the other vegetables and cook until the carrots are beginning to become tender. I added snap peas, which I parboiled and added at this time.

3. Now that the onions are gone, cook the beef on high heat with some extra oil. Season likewise. Add some more minced garlic too. Remember: it will continue to cook with the vegetables.

3. Add about a cup of wine and reduce to a simmer for a few minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes (The tomatoes, not the can). Season to taste with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, fresh pepper, and thyme. Add Worcestershire sauce and 3-4 sprigs of rosemary. Simmer and add more wine if it cooks off. I used a gravy master for darker color. Remove the Rosemary sprigs. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish. I used a Cazuela which is a traditional spanish cooking vessel.

4. Mash the potatoes (some skin is fine) with cream (8-10 oz.), a stick of butter, salt and pepper. Spread over the filling. I topped mine with the Rosemary sprigs and some thyme for aroma. Keep it warm in the oven until service.

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