Shepherd’s Pie is a dish that works well with countless variations. I, in fact, just sent a recipe for a Pizza Shepherd’s Pie to my brother who is a pizza aficionado.
I’m leaving to spend a week with our daughter soon and I’ve been making dishes that result in leftovers so my husband will have good eats while I’m away. Last night it was Mac and Cheese. Tonight Shepherd’s Pie.
Ingredients for base:
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion rough chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 T beef Better than Bouillon
2 T flour
1 pint stewed tomatoes
2 cups vegetables (I used corn and asparagus)
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for Potato topping:
2 lbs of potatoes peeled and cut up
5-6 carriers peeled and cut up
3-4 cloves of garlic
cream or half-n-half
3 T butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes and carrots, rinse well, add the whole garlic cloves and cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender. While the potatoes cook begin preparing the base.
In a heavy Dutch oven cook the ground beef until it’s no longer pink.
Remove the cooked beef to a bowl and leave approximately 2 T of the drippings in the Dutch oven. (My meat was very lean and I had to add a little olive oil to the pan.) Add the onions and garlic to the drippings and cook over medium heat until the onions are tender.
Stir the flour into the onion garlic mix and cook for a couple minutes stirring constantly. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme, and the Better than Bouillon. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until mixture begins to thicken.
Stir in the ground beef and the chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Thoroughly combine and pour into a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 400.
Distribute the vegetables over the meat.
Once the potatoes and carrots are tender drain the water and whip or mash adding butter, cream and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. I usually mash the potatoes, always mash them for my daughter who likes a lump here or there, but for this casserole I like to whip them.
Evenly distribute the potato mixture over the casserole.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the meat mixture starts to bubble around the edges. Scoop onto your plate and enjoy. Serve with a salad and some good crusty bread. We both had second helpings and there is still plenty left for two good meals while I’m away.
NOTE: Lamb or a combo beef/pork mix would be good substitutes for the beef. Fresh mushrooms are a good add to the onion/garlic mixture. Peas, green beans, spinach are some of the vegetables that can be substituted for the corn and asparagus. A little horseradish or another type of cheese change up the potato icing. Anyway you mix it up, it’s an easy, hearty meal. A little bit classy, a little bit trashy.