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Shepherd's Pie

(by Lally Pia)

For the filling:

1 1/2 lb. ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 stick celery, chopped

1 t. finely grated fresh ginger root

1 t. finely chopped garlic (2 cloves)

2 T. chopped cilantro

6 oz. can tomato paste

1 T. flour

1 t. salt, or to taste

3/4 t. black pepper

butter for greasing casserole

For the topping:

8 medium new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

1/4 c. milk

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

1/4 c. butter, plus additional for baking


In a large, skillet, sauté meat and onion, until meat is browned and onion is transparent.

Add celery, ginger, and garlic, and stir for 5 minutes.

Add cilantro and tomato paste, and cook for 2 minutes

Stir in flour until mixture thickens, about 1 minute.

Spoon mixture into a large buttered casserole.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook potatoes until they fall easily off a fork when poked.

Drain potatoes, add milk, salt, pepper, and 1/4 c. butter, and mash until creamy.

Taste for seasoning.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Carefully lay mashed potatoes by the spoonful onto the meat mixture, and level with a spoon.

Use the prongs of a fork to score a pattern on the potatoes.

Put little dabs of butter on top of the potato mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with Brussels sprouts or steamed broccoli.

Keeps well if covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

(Read The Light of 1000 Suns, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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