A farmers market shepherd’s pie – with purple potatoes!

Thank you to Sabols Farm for the blue and pink Adirondack potatoes, russet potatoes, and leek. Thank you to Ceres Gardens for the sweet potatoes, Autumn Harvest Farm for the pork, CRS Growers for the carrots and garlic, and Early Morning Farm for the parsnip! Also, thank you to Plenty of Posies for the beautiful dried flower centerpiece! This would look wonderful on any autumn table!

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Ingredients:
  • 1lb of ground pork
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of mushrooms diced
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1 tbsp of beet or tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp of flour of your choice
  • 1 ½ cups of broth
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 6 potatoes of your choice (I used a mix of pink and blue Adirondack, russet, and sweet potatoes)
  • 2 tbsp of oil of your choice
  • Butter or oil or your choice (for flavoring the potatoes).
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  Cut potatoes into chunks (either with or without the skins, whatever you prefer). Add the potatoes to a stockpot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook covered for 20-30 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the potatoes are cooking add 1 tablespoon of oil (I used olive oil) to a stockpot and sauté one minced clove of garlic until fragrant. Add the pork and cook on medium heat until browned. When done, remove from the pot and set aside. Dice the leek and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot along with the leek and garlic. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Clean, peel and dice the carrots, celery, parsnip, and mushrooms. Add these to the pot and sauté for 15-20 minutes on medium low or until tender.

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Add the pork back into the pot as well as the peas, beet* or tomato paste, flour, 1 cup of broth, thyme, rosemary, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid has cooked down (about ¾ of the way) and thickened. 

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Turn the heat off and set aside. Drain the potatoes. Using butter/oil, a minced garlic clove, and broth prepare the mashed potatoes to the consistency you prefer. You can mash the potatoes, put them into a food processor, or use an electric beater. I like to keep the potatoes very thick so I use less broth. Experiment with the topping! For something different and flavorful try a sweet potato and parsnip topping! A plain sweet potato topping is yummy too! Colored potatoes tend to be more jelly than russet potatoes and when cooked they puff up like marshmallows. This creates an interesting visual effect. Fill a casserole dish with the pork mixture. Spread the potatoes on the top. Cook the pie in the oven for 30 minutes.

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Remove from the oven. Serve and enjoy!

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*Beet paste Take a large beet and remove the stem but leave the skin on. Put it in a saucepan and fill with one inch of water. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Once the beet is cooked all the way through remove the beet and let it cool. Rub off the skin with a paper towel. Slice the beet and put it in a food processor. Process until the beet becomes a smooth thick paste.