Friday, April 13, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

I just realized that I didn't publish the post I wrote yesterday, so these posts will be coming back to back.  Yesterday I made one of my favorite meals-shepherd's pie.  I typically use frozen veggies and package brown gravy (which is good), but this time I made my own gravy and used fresh carrots and onion.  I don't know if I can ever go back to the other.  It was so good and was not hard to make.  In case you don't know what shepherd's pie is, it is meat and veggies in a brown gravy sauce, topped with mashed potatoes and baked.  Affordable and delicious.  Also, if you have leftover mashed potatoes (like I always do after holidays) it is a great way to use them up.
 Right out of the oven
 First you sautee chopped onions and carrots in about a Tbsp. of oil
 Add chopped garlic and stir for a minute, then add ground beef or lamb (I used beef)
 Stir until your meat is cooked and then you will add flour and stir, then beef broth and bring to a simmer like so
 I added some frozen peas at the last minute and then put it in my baking dish and topped with mashed potatoes and cheese.  Put that in the oven at 400 for about 25 minutes and you have a delicious dinner!
I went back for a little more because it was so good.  I may have had some chocolate eggs for dessert!
Shepherd's Pie
2-3 cups of your fave mashed potatoes (I will post my recipe at the end)
3/4 pound ground beef
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 carrots, chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 cup beef broth
S&P to taste (careful with the salt, I just used a little)
1/3 cup frozen peas
Cheese to top potatoes, optional (I used a little)

Preheat oven to 400.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add onion and carrot and sautee for about 4-5 minutes.  Add ground beef and cook through.  Add garlic and stir for about a minute.  Add flour and mix well.  Pour in beef broth and bring to a simmer.  Stir in your peas and let it simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes but doesn't have to be exact.  Pour into a baking dish (mine was a 2 quart).  Top with mashed potatoes and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until your potatoes are browned and your mixture is bubbling around the edges.  Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. 

If you are looking to save time (and have less cleanup), I recommend you make your mashed potatoes beforehand.  I figured I already posted how to make mashed potatoes, but couldn't find it.  Growing up, my dad took mashed potatoes very seriously at holidays.  It is one time you would definitely find him in the kitchen!  He taught me how and now I can share with you.

Lauren's Mashed Potatoes (learned from the best, my Dad)
6 potatoes, peeled, washed and cubed (sometimes I leave the skin on)
5-6 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup milk, maybe more as you go
Garlic salt, salt, and pepper
Optional:  cheese and sour cream

Place potatoes in a large pot with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook until soft (about 20-30 minutes and you should be able to stick them with a fork easily).  Drain potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add butter and milk and beat with a mixer until they start to get smooth.  Add your seasonings and more milk if needed and beat until light and fluffy.  Sometimes I add sour cream for good flavor and creaminess, and I top them with cheese if I am in the mood.  These are simple, easy and delicious!  Enjoy

Okay everyone, hope you enjoy the recipes.  I plan to have leftovers tonight.  Have a great weekend!

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