Monday, June 29, 2015

Shepherd's Pie

Continuing from last time when we talked about my love affair with potatoes, I have a soul warming dinner for you tonight.  Before that fateful night in the Irish Pub, I'd never had Shepherd's Pie, and wasn't quite sure what it was. When I saw a plate of tender meat nestled under a cloud of mashed potatoes, it was love at first sight.  Since then, I've tried many recipes, and never met one that I didn't like, but came to love Ellie Krieger's version a little more than all the rest, probably for the extra vegetables.  However, Ellie and I parted ways when it came to the mashed potatoes.  She uses a blend of potatoes and cauliflower, but I stuck with traditional spuds. This is a wonderful thing to take out of the oven on a cold night, and the leftovers are always a welcome thing to pull out of the freezer.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger

Yield: 5 servings

  • For the pie:
    • 1 pound ground beef (I used 96% lean) 
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 cup onion
    • 3 carrots
    • 8 oz mushrooms
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • ½ cup broth
    • 1 cup frozen peas
  • For mashed potatoes:
    • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 2-4 tablespoons sour cream
    • Onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Heat the oil on medium.  Cover the pot and cook the carrots and onion for eight minutes.

Peel the potatoes and chop into quarters.

Cover the potatoes with cold water, cover, and heat to boiling.  Once the water comes to a boil, uncover and turn the heat down to medium.

Chop the mushrooms into small pieces.

Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook for a few minutes.

Add the beef.

Cook until the meat is browned and the liquid from the mushrooms is mostly evaporated.

Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes.

Add in the broth and bring to a simmer.  At this point, start preheating the oven to 350° F.

Stir in the peas.  The liquid should be mostly cooked off, but if needed drain off the excess.

Meanwhile, check on the potatoes by poking them with a fork.  When they start to fall apart, they are ready.

Drain the spuds.

Mash in the butter, sour cream, onion powder, and salt.  Adjust quantities as needed for taste and mash until creamy.

Now make the magic happen.

Smooth the spuds over the meat.

And tuck it in the oven for 25 minutes.

And eat it up.

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