Healthy Shepherd's Pie



1 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 c. peeled and chopped carrots (about 3 medium)

1 c. chopped celery (about 2 large stalks)

14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

14 oz. can chicken broth

14 oz. can beef broth

large bunch Swiss chard, center stems removed, chopped

1 tbsp. flour

1 lb. cooked, shredded beef from a chuck roast


1 c. peeled parsnips, cut into chunks

2 c. peeled potatoes, cut into chunks

2 c. peeled butternut squash, cut into chunks

1 tbsp. butter

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute 5 minutes.  Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, bay leaves, and thyme.  Saute until partially tender then add broths and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in Swiss chard and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.  

Put the flour in a small bowl, scoop a bit of the hot broth into the bowl, and whisk until smooth.  Add to the pot and stir in the beef.  Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.

While the filling is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add parsnips and cook 2 minutes.  Add potatoes and squash and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes longer.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.  Return vegetables to the pot and use a hand mixer to puree the vegetables with the butter.  Add reserved cooking liquid a bit at a time until everything is smooth.

Preheat the oven to 375º.  Pour the filling into a rectangular baking dish.  Spread the warm topping over and bake until the filling bubbles at edges and the topping begins to brown, about 30 minutes.  Let cool slightly and serve.