Table for One: Roast to Shepherd’s Beef Pie

March 17, 2020

In all honesty, this post should be titled, ‘How to acceptably eat potatoes every night in one week so you can stretch your budget further.”

I love potatoes. In all forms. At all meals.


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Bubba had his shrimp. I have potatoes. Baked. Fried. Hashbrowns. Riced. Mashed. Crack Potatoes. Twice Baked. Tots. Waffles. Chips. Gnocchi. Klub. Au Gratin. ALLOFTHEM.

I have never met a potato I didn’t like. They’re versatile,
they pair well with nearly any dish at any meal, and a bag of them can feed a
crowd or a single person (holla!). They’re a great source potassium and fiber,
and the best thing these tasty tubers: they’re affordable.

One of the things I love most about potatoes is their price
tag. You can buy a five-pound bag of potatoes for around $2 if you’re watching
the grocery store ads. Now that I’m a single-income household, I watch my
budget like a hawk. I stretch everything a little further than is normally
acceptable.

When I made the move to Sioux Falls, I started aggressively
budgeting. I found this excel document and this budget calendar, and use them
both to track my money. I buy second-hand clothes, I shop the clearance rack, I
meal plan, and I check the grocery store ads. My goal each month is to keep my
grocery budget to less than $120, and I have successfully been able to do that
through planning and tracking, and consuming copious amounts of potatoes.

Since the low-carb and no-carb revolution, potatoes have
gotten a bad name. “I don’t eat carbs, so I don’t eat potatoes.” I am so
grateful I never jumped on that bandwagon. In the past few years, I have cut
gluten from my diet and it has made a world of difference in the way my mind,
joints, and guts feel. Because of my gluten-free lifestyle, I have relied on
potatoes to get my carb fix.

When I was married, I threw a roast and potatoes in the
crock pot at least once a week. It was effortless, and when I came home from
work the house smelled amazing. We would ask a friend to come over and eat with
us and polish off the whole meal in an evening. Now that I’m just feeding
myself, my roast and potatoes lasts a little longer. In order to keep my budget
in check, I turn my leftovers into a second meal and feed myself the same food
a different way.

So this is one of my go-to meal transitions: beef roast to
shepherd’s pie.

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

Most know what a beef roast is, but I’m assuming not as many know of shepherd’s pie. It’s a dish that originates in the UK in Ireland and often uses lamb instead of beef (fun fact: there are four million people in Ireland and nine million sheep). Since I have NEVER had any lamb in my freezer, I adapted to fit my diet. Back to the pie: it’s not a real “pie,” but you take your meat and carrots and gravy from your roast, add some peas and more salt and butter, and mix them together. I take the potatoes out of the leftovers, mash them, then cover the beef, carrots, peas, and gravy mixture—that’s where the pie title comes from. Bake that combo and enjoy. Here’s a bunch of pictures and descriptions of my steps:

Step one: Pick a Roast, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

I pulled this beauty out of my freezer. Any cut of roast works for this recipe. This one just happens to be an arm roast.

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

Step Two: Add Roast and quartered potatoes to pot

A lot of times I will just make my roast in the slow cooker. This roast was bigger than my slow cooker, so I used my enameled cast iron dutch oven.

I have to brag on this dutch oven for a minute: it is the MVP of my kitchen. I use it at least three times a week, if not more. I can start cooking things on the stove, and transfer to the oven. I can cook things, leave them on the stove, and turn off the heat, and they will stay warm for quite some time. I can bake things in it. I boil water, or make soup, I saute things, I brown meat, etc. It really is super useful. The one I have is seven quarts, but I know they come in smaller sizes as well.

Of course there are other brands and more expensive brands, but mine is Lodge Cast Iron and I’m so happy with it. I also use this Lodge Cast Iron skillet in my kitchen often. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Lodge products.

Step Three: Season with Alpine

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

Alpine Touch is the other work horse of my kitchen. I put it on and in nearly everything I cook. Its the perfect blend of salt, pepper, garlic and onion, all flavors I love!

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

Step Four: Add Carrots and Butter

Self explanatory: add carrots and butter. I know the meat has fat in it which provides moisture, but the better just adds to this recipe’s moistness (ick, I hate that word).

Step Five: add more seasonings

Don’t ask me why, but I didn’t take photos of this step, but I sprinkle a ranch dip packet and a gravy packet over everything.

Step Six: Cook in oven for two to two and a half hours.

Magic happens here, everything cooks, juices flow, flavors merge. Its a beautiful thing.

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

Serve with bread. Or a beer. Or Sauvignon Blanc. Or cheap Franzia Zinfandel. Zero judgement here.

Let’s Make Some Pie Now

After I eat my fair share of roast, I cut the meat off the bone (if there is one), and store everything in the fridge. The next day, I start my Shepherd’s Beef Pie.

Step One: Assemble Leftovers & Preheat Oven

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

I put my carrots with frozen peas (or whatever frozen vegetables I have on hand), in the bottom of a bake ware dish. I use vintage pyrex because I am an old soul at heart and I love the designs and colors of vintage pyrex. I also preheat the oven at 350 degrees.

Step Two: Add Meat

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

I cut the beef into chunks and layer it on top of the peas and carrots.

Step Three: Add Gravy

I microwave the the gravy-butter-ranch mixture from the day before, then pour it over the beef and veggies, and stir.

Step Four: Mash potatoes and cover mixture

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers

So the thing about this dish is that while it doesn’t look very pretty, its simple and full of nutrients and tastes amazing. Lumpy potatoes, I love you.

Step Five: Bake at 350 for 30 Minutes

Step Six: Enjoy!

How to Turn Beef Roast to Shepherd's Beef Pie. Getting Creative with Leftovers
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