Italian Shepherd’s Stew

Ingredients:

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 lbs ground beef
3 tablespoons tomato paste
5 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons (2 palmfuls) all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded provolone
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese, plus additional
4 large potatoes, quartered

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400

Place a large skillet over high heat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil starts to ripple, add the ground beef and break it up into small pieces as it cooks using the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cook until the beef is brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Add all the veggies to the beef and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock, tomato paste, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes, stirring every now and then.

While the veggies and beef are cooking, place a medium size saucepan over medium heat with the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly so the flour doesn’t burn. Whisk in the milk and the rest of the chicken stock and bring up to a simmer and cook until it has thickened. Once thick, turn off the heat, add both cheeses to the pot and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mashed Potatoes:

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes

Drain potatoes

Add butter, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper

Beat potatoes on medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy

then beat in egg

Fold in 1/4 cup parmesan

Cover the bottom of a large oven safe baking dish with the beef and veggie mixture. Pour the potato mixture on top of the beef mixture and spread evenly. Place in the oven and bake until top is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Serve with Schmidt Family Vineyard Merlot!