One of my favourite activities to do in the summer is canoe tripping. I love all the preparation that goes into planning the ultimate portage trip including, the food! Way back when I wrote a post on how to dehydrate food. The post covered the basic dehydration process as well as recipes for chili, stew, beef jerky and a holiday chicken dinner. I’ve since posted recipes for beef brisket and pad thai. This latest dehydrated meal is my most successful to date. My Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping is one of my favourite recipes so I’m so excited to share how to dehydrate Shepherd’s pie for backcountry camping!
Shepherd’s pie is really easy to dehydrate and rehydrates beautifully. I use lamb in my Shepherd’s pie which is rich and fatty – an ideal candidate for dehydration as fatty meats are less tough when rehydrated. The potato topping is easy to control, dehydrates quickly and evenly and also rehydrates well.
The dish is deconstructed for the dehydration process and you will be dehydrating the protein and the topping separately. As per my tips in my original dehydration post, be sure to chop the onions, carrots, garlic and gherkins as finely as possible for an even dehydration.
Prepare the recipe as per usual up to step 13 (excluding preheating the oven). Instead of preheating your oven, wrap your dehydrator trays in plastic wrap, making sure to cut out a hole in the middle and allowing some space along the edges for air to circulate.
After mixing in the gerkins to the meat mixture, spread the meat evenly onto the plastic wrap. Then spread the sweet potato/potato mixture onto the remaining trays. I managed to fit the whole recipe in one batch – three trays for the protein and two trays for the topping. Close your dehydrator and set it for 8 hours or until the food is completely dry and chip-like with no wet spots. Be sure to rotate the trays every few hours or so for an even dehydration.
Package the lamb and potatoes in separate ziplock bags and that’s it! You now have a delicious meal ready for your next back country trip. To rehydrate, simply soak in water, covering the food completely for at least 30 minutes. Heat the lamb and potatoes in separate pots, adding water as necessary until fully hydrated. Assemble your Shepherd’s pie in the great outdoors and enjoy!