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Mushroom & Asparagus Shepherd's Pie

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Serves 4 - 6

  • To learn more, read:
    Potatoes as the Main Event
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 32

To make the deep flavors of this dish even more complex and delicious, add some dried porcini: soak about 1/3 cup dried porcini in hot water to cover; when soft, chop the porcini and add them to the fresh mushrooms after they're cooked. Use about 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid in place of 1/2 cup of the stock (be careful not to include any grit that has accumulated on the bottom of the bowl).

  • 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 oz. bacon (2 large slices) (optional)
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 2 lb. mixed fresh mushrooms (button, cremini, chanterelle, shiitake, oyster), cleaned, stemmed, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1-1/2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 4 tsp. softened butter mixed with 4 tsp. flour to form a smooth paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 recipe Lucia's Best Mashed Potatoes

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus, and blanch until bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 min. Drain and set aside.

In a very large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove (leave the fat in the pan), drain on a paper towel, and set aside with the asparagus.

Add 1 Tbs. of the butter to the skillet, heat until foaming and add about half of the mushrooms. Cook over medium-high heat until browned and the mushrooms have released their juices, 10 to 15 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook until the mushrooms are dry and nicely browned. Transfer them to a bowl and reserve. Add another 2 Tbs. butter and cook the second half of the mushrooms in the same way. Transfer them from the pan to the other mushrooms.

Reduce the heat to medium high. Add the last 1 Tbs. butter and sauté the shallot, scallions, and garlic for about 2 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan by scraping up any browned juices. Boil until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze. Add the stock, tomato paste, and thyme. Simmer for a few minutes, and then whisk in the butter paste bit by bit. Simmer another minute until the sauce thickens a bit. Add the cooked asparagus, bacon, and mushrooms to the sauce, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 2-qt. baking dish.

Mushroom & Asparagus Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Pile the potatoes loosely on the filling for a more appealing, fluffy look.

Heat the oven to 375°F. Drop spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes on the mushroom filling and spread gently to form an even (but not too smooth) layer. Bake in the hot oven until the potatoes are light brown and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 490; Fat (g): fat g 28; Fat Calories (kcal): 250; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 17; Protein (g): protein g 10; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 50; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1430; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 75; Fiber (g): fiber g 6;

Photo: Martha Holmberg

Delicious!! It does take some time to make.

this is delicious... a great recipe

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