November 29, 2012

Shepherd's Pie with mashed Parmesan Butternut Squash

Pin It
I've always loved the Backstreet Boys.  Seriously loved them.  Not like stalker kind of love..just fan that buys your CD's, goes to your show, and buys merch kind of love.  For some reason this blog today reminds me of the "Backstreet's Back" song.  Sure..the fact that I haven't written anything since September might have a little something to do with that.  But..I've been..well..gosh where to start?  I've had a few surprises in my life over the last 6 months or so.  I found out that I am pregnant with my third child.  My surprise baby is due in about 6 weeks!  We are having..another girl and couldn't be more excited. 

But enough about my crazy life..let's get to the good stuff.  A few weeks ago I cooked up the yummiest Shepherd's pie on the planet.  Instead of a mashed potato topping I used  a decadent mashed Parmesan Butternut Squash!  The topping was so delectable that I made it as a side dish for Thanksgiving Dinner.  This is the perfect dinner for a cold night.  It really sticks to your ribs and warms you up right.  Give it a try soon...but try not to eat all the mash before dinner is ready.

You will need Worcestershire Sauce, Beef Broth, Mushrooms, Rosemary, Canola Oil, Parmesan Cheese, Frozen Peas & Carrots, Crushed Tomatoes, Onion, Garlic, Butternut Squash, Butter, Sweet Italian Sausage, and Salt & Pepper.

Peel, de-seed, and chop up the Butternut Squash.

Toss the Squash into a big pot full of lightly salted boiling water and cook until they are tender.  The smaller the chunks the quicker this will happen.

You can do as I do here..or do as you do.  I always wash my Mushrooms under a gently running tap and let dry on a paper towel.  I know they always say to just rub any visible dirt off.. but I just have to wash them.

Warm a skillet over medium heat and brown the Sausage.  When fully cooked set aside and wipe the grease out of the pan with a paper towel.
Slice the Mushrooms thinly..and while you are at it chop the Onion.
Add the Oil, Mushrooms and Chopped Onion to the same skillet you browned the Sausage in.  Cook on medium heat until tender. 

Add in the Garlic and cook another 2 minutes or so.

Stir in the Beef Broth and Crushed Tomatoes.  Go slow..this tends to be a messy step.

Add in the Rosemary, Worcestershire Sauce, and a bit of Salt & Pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and let everything cook together another 5 minutes or so until the mixture begins to thicken.

Meanwhile, drain the Butternut Squash once it is tender. 

Add in the grated Parmesan Cheese, a good 5 TBSP of Butter, and Salt & Pepper.  Mash together using your potato masher.  Taste and add more Parmesan, Salt & Pepper, or Butter as needed.  Maybe not Butter if you are using 5 TBSP!!
Creamy..dreamy..and delicious!

Add the Sausage back into the pan along with the frozen Peas & Carrots.  Mix everything together really well.  Let it cook a few minutes to let everything warm up a bit.

Place 6 ramekins on a baking sheet.  The baking sheet is very important unless you truly enjoy cleaning your oven.  Give them a good spritz with non-stick cooking spray.

Add in the Sausage/veg mixture almost to the top.  Then spread the heavenly mash on top. 

Oh yeah!  Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until everything is warm and bubbly.

Top with Parmesan Cheese shavings..and Enjoy!

Shepherd's Pie with mashed Parmesan Butternut Squash
Source: Better Homes and Gardens Magazine 10/2012

2 1/2 Lb Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
5 TBSP Butter
1/4-1/2 C Parmesan Cheese + more for topping
1 Lb Sweet Italian Sausage
1 TBSP Canola Oil
1 Medium Onion, chopped
8 oz packaged Mushrooms, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 C Beef Broth
28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
1 tsp Dried Rosemary
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 C Frozen Peas & Carrots

  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large pot cook the Butternut Squash in lightly salted boiling water.  15-17 minutes until fork tender.  Drain the water then return the Squash back to the original pan.  Add the Butter, a bit of Salt & Pepper, and the Parmesan Cheese and mash together with a potato masher.  Set aside.

In a large skillet cook the Sausage over medium heat.  Break it up into smallish pieces and stir around until fully cooked.  Drain the excess grease and remove the meat from the pan. Set aside.

In the same skillet, add the Canola Oil, Mushrooms, and Onions.  Cook for a few minutes until they are nice and softened.  Add in the Garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the Beef Broth, Crushed Tomatoes, Rosemary, Worcestershire Sauce, and a bit of Salt & Pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat a bit.  Simmer until the sauce has thickened a bit, about 5 minutes.  Add the meat back into the pan along with the Peas & Carrots.  Cook about 2 minutes just to warm everything up a bit.  

Spray 6 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.  Divide the meat/veg mixture between the cups and top with the Butternut Squash.  Bake uncovered on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes.  Top with shaved Parmesan and Enjoy! 
    Pin It