Usually I prefer slow cooker recipes that involve minimal prep. Open a few packages, chop a few veggies, throw them in the pot, and go!
This is not one of those recipes.
It has three separate steps after you’ve chopped the veggies: prepare the potatoes on the stove top, prepare the filling on the stove top, then cook both in the slow cooker.
But if you like shepherd’s pie, this is a nice way of preparing dinner a few hours before mealtime. It’s also great for hot days like we had this weekend, because you don’t have to turn on the oven and, depending on the layout of electrical outlets in your abode, have the slow cooker going by an open window or plug it in on a covered porch. (If cooking outside, I bungee the top in place if I won’t be supervising the slow cooker constantly.)
I cooked this in a 3.5-quart slow cooker.
- 1.5 pounds red potatoes
- milk (optional)
- butter or margarine to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 cups frozen peas or frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 pound lean ground beef (can also use ground turkey)
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 3/4 cup poultry stock
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- salt to taste
- white pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes, dice, and place in a pot.
- Cover in cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, until fork-tender.
- Drain, saving water.
- Mash the potatoes, adding butter and cooking water or milk until they’re the texture you like. (I use 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid and 1 or 2 tablespoons butter.) Add salt to taste.
- Heat oil on medium-low. Sautee onions, garlic, carrots, and celery 5 to 10 minutes, until soft and onions are translucent.
- Add the ground meat, stirring until browned (about 5 minutes).
- Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut flour, frozen veggies, stock, and herbs and spices and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes.
- Lightly coat the bottom of your slow cooker with oil or butter.
- Layer the filling on the bottom.
- Layer the mashed potatoes on top. Dab with butter (optional — the butter prevents the potatoes from forming a starchy “skin” on top).
- Put lid on.
- Cook on low, 3-5 hours.
- Serve. (I used a large serving spoon to cut and serve.)