From our Dining Room to your Dinner Party: No-bake Shepherd’s Pie

Every day (365 days a year), we serve Charapproximately 2,700 hot, nutritious meals to people in need in our bright and spacious Dining Room. But these aren’t your average mass-produced cafeteria meals. These meals are carefully planned ahead of time to utilize the food donations we receive along with the inventory we order to cook a quality menu for our guests. This menu is planned a month in advance, which works well not only for internal planning purposes, but also allows for our guests to see what’s being served ahead of time.

Once the menu has been determined the chefs work together to list the ingredients needed, preparing each meal a day in advance so that it’s ready to be cooked and served hot the day of. Men from our Father Alfred Center work alongside the chefs to chop, peel, toss and gloss the food as part of our Job Training Program. This process is planned down to the last speck of spice to assist in the efficiency of the kitchen and set a high standard for the finished product.

On the day of, the chefs take the prepared ingredients and cook them with a pinch of TLC for our guests to enjoy. With the high praise they receive, I thought it would be a great idea to share some of our Dining Room recipes with you. Though we cook meals for thousands, I’ve taken some of the most popular dishes and pared them back to portions perfect for a dinner party of 10.

To kick off this tasty series I’ve chosen a long-time favorite, Shepherd’s Pie:

No-bake Shepherd’s Pie with Chef Robert

The Mince:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oilFile 15-06-2015 11 34 17
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound minced beef
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 (10 oz package) corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste/ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried parsley
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds baby spinach

The Mash:

  • 3 pounds potatoes quartered
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups of milk
  1. Shepherds pie 3In a large saucepan, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water until tender. Drain and mash the cooked potatoes with milk, butter, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil until they begin to sweat down (6 – 7 minutes). Add the beef and cook thoroughly. Once beef is now longer pink, add the beef broth, tomato paste/ketchup and BBQ sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened. Season with parsley, salt, and black pepper. Lastly, add the spinach, stirring into the mixture for approximately 2 minutes, until wilted.
  3. Scoop the filling onto a plate, adding a large spoonful of mashed potatoes on top. Serve and enjoy.

Makes: 10 – 12 servings | Prep: 20 min. | Cook: 25



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