The casserole dish Shepherd´s Pie is quite a popular meal. A few years ago, my sister’s partner, who is from the UK, visited us. He’s quite skilled in the kitchen and one evening, he treated us to Shepherd’s Pie. After he finished cooking, the kitchen looked like a battlefield, but the flavor of the food made it all worthwhile!
He shared that Shepherd´s Pie originally hails from the UK and dates back to around 1800. In an effort to minimize food waste, homemakers would gather leftover ingredients in a baking dish. Once they had accumulated enough, they’d cover the mixture with mashed potatoes. This ingenious trick was used to conceal the fact that it was made from leftovers. It was often the wives of shepherds who practiced this, giving rise to the name Shepherd’s Pie. Initially, lamb meat was used in this dish, though nowadays, beef mince is also a common choice.
Shepherd’s Pie is incredibly well-suited for backpacking meals. It boasts rich flavors, provides warmth, and is satisfyingly filling. I’ve adapted the recipe to allow for both dehydration and rehydration. In this version, the sauce and mashed potatoes are prepared and dehydrated separately, ready to be combined during the rehydration process. I’ve also swapped out lamb meat for lean beef mince, as fatty foods are unsuitable for dehydrating. Additionally, it’s worth noting that this version doesn’t require an oven for preparation.
Ingredients sauce – 4 servings
- 400 grams lean ground beef (5% fat)
- 2 yellow onions, finely chopped (165 grams)
- 6 cloves of garlic, pressed (25 grams )
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 400 grams American blend (mixed vegetables)
- 200 ml beef broth
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2
- tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Ingredients mashed potatoes – 4 servings
- 750 gr. skrellet mandelpoteter
- 2 dl. kjøttbuljong
- 1 dl. lettfløte
- 1/2 ts salt
- 1/4 ts pepper
preparation mashed potatoes
Peel and steam the potatoes until they’re tender. Combine beef broth, potatoes, cream, salt, and pepper to create a smooth mashed mixture.
Melt butter in a frying pan and cook the ground beef, pressed garlic, and onion until everything is tender and the meat is thoroughly cooked. Stir in the American blend and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. Finally, mix in the beef broth and let the sauce simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
Dehydrating Shepherd´s pie
Once the sauce and mashed potatoes are ready, they should be dried separately. Spread the mashed potatoes in a thin and even layer over 4 drying trays, and the sauce over 3 trays (depending on the type of food dehydrator you’re using). Place a Paraflexx drying sheet on each tray.
- Place all drying trays in the food dehydrator.
- Set the temperature to 63°C (145°F).
- The sauce will be fully dried after 7 to 9 hours.
- .The mashed potatoes were completely dry on the top side after 6.5 hours, but still slightly moist on the underside. Therefore, I flipped the mashed potatoes upside down and dried them for another 1.5 hours, totaling 9 hours. Keep an eye on the process as drying times can vary.
Once the food is completely dried, crumble the mashed potatoes into small pieces and divide them among 4 bags. Scrape together the sauce and distribute it among the same 4 bags. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer yet, remove air from the plastic bags and freeze them. You can also vacuum-seal the meals as this prolongs shelf life. Since the sauce and the dried mashed potatoes are somewhat sharp, they can puncture ziplock or food bags easily. To prevent puncturing, consider using kitchen paper towels while packing the food. Visit the page on vacuum-sealing dehydrated food for further information.
Boil 350 ml per serving and mix the water with the food in a pot or thermos. Stir well. Place the pot or thermos in a sleeping bag and wait for 15 to 20 minutes, then stir again. I prefer adding a dollop of butter in the last 5 minutes for extra calories and a richer flavor. When the food is fully rehydrated, stir well again before eating. On the page rehydration, you can read more about rehydrating food while on a trip.
Bon appétit on your journey!!
The calculation of nutritional content is per portion and does not include added melted butter.