Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Second Helping: Pork 'Shepherd's Pie'

Growing up, our Irish & Scottish family's version of Shepherd's Pie consisted of instant mashed potatoes, cream-style corn from a can, and whatever scrambled hamburger was on sale that week at Market Basket. The meals my mother made for us growing up were convenient, affordable, and ginormous - she made enough of everything to feed an army, so we had leftovers for the week (and for the freezer). However, no matter how inexpensive and simple our dinners were, I have fond memories of sitting around the table with my family almost every night, which, in turn, made the meals comforting and delicious.

From my experience growing up, I learned at an early age not to waste food - and not to appreciate three nights in a row of the same leftovers. So, the other night when I was faced with leftover, un-stuffed pork and spinach, I got a little creative - and also managed to make use of a favorite childhood meal.

Pork "Shepherd's Pie"
Yields: 2 servings

-2 pork chops, cooked and seasoned like this
-2 cups spinach
-2/3 cup instant mashed potatoes, cooked
-1 tbsp. olive oil
-Herbs de Provence
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Heat up olive oil in saute pan. Add spinach and cook over low to medium heat until slightly wilted. Take off heat. Cut pork into 1-inch cubes, and place each cut pork chop on the bottom of two ramakins. Spoon 1 cup spinach into each ramakin, over pork layer. Scoop equal amounts of mashed potatoes (while still slightly warm) over the spinach and pork layers. Sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over the top of each, and place both ramakins on a cookie sheet. Cook in 350* oven until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).

And ta-da! You have pork "Shepherd's Pie."

The end result was a lighter, healthier version of the comforting Shepherd's Pie we had growing up. Although I ate this meal without my family sitting around me at the table, I was fortunate enough to enjoy it with thoughts of them and fond memories of our meals together - and I look forward to our meals to come.

What was your favorite meal growing up? 

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1 comment:

  1. This is a great idea! Very creative. I love the pictures!