Shepherd’s pie, traditionally a way to use up leftover meat, is a delicious and comforting dish.
Comfort foods are often associated with eating that’s unhealthful, but that doesn’t have to be the case. It all comes down to finding the right balance in your ingredients and being mindful of portion sizes.
In today’s shepherd’s pie recipe, we added lots of vegetables and made the mashed potatoes with low-fat dairy to amp up the nutrients and lower saturated fat and calories. We used a lean cut of beef, too.
So what’s the beef with red meat? There’s a large body of evidence that shows a clear link between high intake of red and processed meats and a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and premature death. The key word here is “high.” The same evidence shows that a lower intake means lower risk. When cooking with beef, think of using it as a side dish rather than the main event.
The average American consumes 4½ servings of red meat each week with 10% of the population eating it twice per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.. Experts recommend cutting back to three or fewer servings a week.
Beef contains high amounts of protein, which helps promote muscle growth, vitamin B12( which helps keep your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy) and zinc (which helps your immune system and metabolism function). It’s also a good source of iron, which is needed for hemoglobin and myoglobin, proteins that provide oxygen to your body and muscles. A 3-ounce serving of beef has about 45% of the recommended daily amount of protein, 35% of the recommended amount of B12 and zinc, and 13% of the recommended amount of iron.
Bethany Thayer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Henry Ford Health System. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog and for questions about today’s recipe email [email protected].
Pot Roast Shepherd’s Pie
Makes: 8 servings / Prep time: 20 minutes / Total time: 7 hours (slow-cooker time)
1 ½ pounds round or chuck roast, trimmed
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed celery seed
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3⁄4 cup onion, chopped
1 ½ cups baby carrots
½ pound portabella mushrooms, chopped
½ cup low-sodium beef broth
6 medium-sized russet potatoes
¾ cup fat-free milk
2 ounces light cream cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Place roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with parsley, onion powder, crushed celery seed, oregano and black pepper. Add onion, carrots, mushrooms and beef broth. Cook on low for 6 hours.
Rinse, peel and cut russet potatoes into quarters. Add to a large pot filled with water and boil until soft.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place cooked potatoes in a bowl, add milk and cream cheese, and mash until smooth. Remove meat from the slow cooker and slice into 1-inch strips. Place meat and vegetables in an oven safe dish. Strain the juice from the slow cooker, place in a small pot and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch with ½ cup cold water.
Reduce heat and slowly add cornstarch mixture to juices while stirring constantly. When juices are thickened, remove from the stove and pour over meat and vegetable mixture. Top with mashed potatoes. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes.
From Henry Ford LiveWell.
Nutritional information per serving.
289 calories (22% from fat), 7 grams fat (2.5 grams sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 20 grams carbohydrates, 35 grams protein, 135 mg sodium, 90 mg cholesterol, 101 mg calcium, 2.5 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 4 proteins, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.