Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Finally, it's cool enough for me to make a Shepherds Pie.   YIPPEEE!!!!  Sorry, it's been a long hot summer and I'm so tired of the heat and ready to make some meals that are a little more than quick and easy, and can be cooked in the oven.   In other words, I get to turn the oven on again, giggle.  Which of course means, I get to bake and make more oven cooked meals.  The cooler air went to my head there, and I got giddy. 

Shepherd's Pie
Shepherds Pie is one of my favourites, it's easy to put together, and tastes wonderful.   Also a sneaky way to incorporate  more vegetables into our meals.      The true Shepherds Pie was actually made from lamb, but I make it with ground beef.   You can also use the leftover roast, potatoes, veggies and gravy from the Sunday roast.   By adding a couple more potatoes, you can actually stretch that roast a little farther than it might be comfortable stretching on its own.

1 lb. Ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (more if you like) or 1 can of Vegall mixed vegetables
2 pkgs. Brown gravy mix or leftover gravy
2 cups water
4-6 potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed, dry
2 tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. thyme (if desired).

Brown meat and add onion and continue cooking until the onion is translucent.

Sprinkle the gravy mix over the meat and stir in, then add the veggies, after which, stir in the 2 cups of water, slowly, the gravy mix will thicken this.  I use some of the water I was cooking the potatoes in.   Let it heat through.  

Or if using leftover gravy, pour it over the meat and onions, then add the veggies and let it heat through, but don't forget to stir in the tomato paste, it adds a richness to the gravy but you don't taste the tomato.

Pour into a greased oven proof dish, and top with the 'dry' mashed potatoes.    When mashing the potatoes, you don't want to add a lot of milk or butter, they should be on the dry side, otherwise they just kinda melt into the gravy, and it's kinda messy.

My trick for getting a nice even coating of mashed potatoes on top of the filling is to dump them onto one of my 'handy dandy' plastic cutting sheets and then just turning it onto the top of the gravy.

Or you can also make a spatula sized patties of the potatoes and place them on top or you can make the potatoes earlier, let them cool a little and then pipe them onto the meat mixture.

Lots of ways, and I'm just a little fussy cause I hate it when the potatoes kinda fall into the gravy and disappear.

After you get the mashed potatoes situated on top, then dot them with a tablespoon or more of butter and place the casserole dish into a 350 deg. oven for about 45 minutes.

I like some crusty browned bits on the potatoes and love to see the gravy just bubbling up around it.

Take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving.  Then just stand back and accept the compliments.   This will serve about 4 people.   And you can always add more meat, veggies, gravy and potatoes.  Just like most of my recipes, they can be stretched. 
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

1 comment:

  1. Love love Shepherds Pie, perfect for this time of year indeed.


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