by Chef Laura Frankel, ChefLaurasKosher.com
Bubbly, delicious and nary a drop of matzo in sight! This crowd pleasing casserole is a snap to prepare. During the holiday, I want to spend more time with family and less time in the kitchen. This do-ahead dish is filling and can be assembled ahead of time, kept in the refrigerator while you do something else and then popped into the oven to be heated through.
I have modernized the recipe by replacing the mashed potatoes with garlicky parsnip and cauliflower puree. The vegetables make a creamy and delicious puree with the added benefit of having your decadent creamy mash and eating your veggies too.
For the filling:
Make the topping: Place a medium sauté pan, lightly coated with the olive oil, over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic has softened slightly (about 2 minutes).
Add the cauliflower, parsnips and chicken stock. Cover and cook until the vegetables are very tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 20-30 minutes).
Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are a thick puree. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the filling: Heat a large sauté pan, lightly coated with the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrots and sauté just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the ground chuck, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.
Sprinkle the meat with the potato starch and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Add the mushrooms to the meat mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 15-inch baking dish or divide into individual ramekins. Top with the cauliflower and parsnip puree. Be sure to press the vegetable puree around the edges to keep the meat juices from bubbling over the top. Drizzle the top with olive oil and plenty of cracked pepper.
Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the vegetable puree begins to brown. Remove from the oven and let stand to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: serves a crowd
Recipes: Passover, Meat, Shepherd's Pie, Kosher