Tomorrow I'm escaping (I mean flying) to Savannah for a long weekend and meeting up with Paige!
Tonight, I finally had time to make dinner and wanted to make something that will keep safe in the freezer to eat after I get back to DC. By the time I got to the store, I still had no idea of what I was going to make. Then I saw an eggplant on sale, and ground beef, and thought: why not make something like a Shepard's Pie? But what about an eggplant? That's when I came up with the idea of Ratatouille Meets Shepard's Pie.
3 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 eggplant, cubed (no need to peel)
2 handfuls of bella mushrooms, cubed
salt & pepper, paprika, ground coriander, red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup Cheddar cheese, divided
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1. Boil potatoes in salted water till tender. I boiled mine in skins, and once the potatoes were cooked through, it was super easy to peel the skin off.
2. Mash potatoes with butter, salt and pepper, and most of the cheese.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and place it in a mixing bowl.
4. Using some of the fat left from the ground beef, cook onion and carrots for about 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Add eggplant and mushrooms, cover and cook for a few minutes.
6. Remove the cover, add the spices and cook until the vegetables are tender.
7. Mix the vegetables with the ground beef and place on the bottom of a Pyrex dish (I used 8x8).
8. Cover the beef/vegetable mixture with mashed sweet potatoes and bake for 20 minutes.
9. Sprinkle the potatoes with sliced scallions and the rest of the cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
10. Let the dish stand for about 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa.
I'm quite please with how this dish turned out. This is a great family meal, and I hope it will be great for leftovers. Of course you can substitute any vegetables you want, use chicken instead of ground beef, or make this completely vegetarian.
If you give this dish a try, please let me know what you think.