moroccan shepherd's pie

Recipe printed from chiknpastry.com

Moroccan Shepherd's Pie
inspired by Brook & a Cooking Light recipe; serves 6

time commitment: a little less than 1 hour; 35 minutes active

it seems that all I have to do to satisfy the Hubs is throw some chewy fruit and cinnamon in a dish, call it Moroccan, and poof!, he's slap happy. This is a traditional recipe for English Shepherd's pie, but with a Moroccan twist. I didn't have quite enough mashed potato to cover the whole top, so I improvised with a quickly-roasted acorn squash. you could use all mashed potato, or any winter squash for a little sweetness, even canned pumpkin puree would work. also, you may notice cheese in the pictures. While i put it in this dish (just because I had some...), I don't think it needed it, so I've left it out below.

ingredients

1  T all-purpose flour
1  T butter, softened
Cooking spray
1 1/2  c chopped onion
1 1/2  c chopped carrot
1 lb ground beef
2 1/2  T tomato paste
1  c chicken broth
5 pitted dates, finely chopped
1/2 t g cinnamon
1/2 t curry powder
1/4  t freshly ground black pepper
1  T fresh thyme leaves
1/2  t  salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
2  c leftover mashed potatoes
1 c squash or pumpkin puree
smoked Spanish paprika

instructions
Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, combine flour and butter together and sit aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and carrot; sauté 5 minutes. Remove vegetables, and add beef to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to break apart. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in broth. Return vegetables to pan, and bring to a simmer. Stir in dates, cinnamon, curry powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add flour mixture, and cook for 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.

Spoon meat mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly. Mix potatoes together, and spread the potato mixture evenly over meat mixture. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

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