Shepherd's Pie

Friday, January 15, 2010

After my last few posts on cooking, one might think that I lack appreciation for simple fare. Not so, and the winter months seem especially well-suited to hearty, not-so-elaborate dishes like the one that got my current creative burst going: shepherd's pie. Thank my wife for introducing me to this dish after you try it.

This recipe is a slightly dumbed-down and economized version of a Rachel Ray recipe. I always would make it at my wife's request, but never really cared for it much myself -- until I made it Monday and remembered to salt and pepper the meat as I cooked it. (I hadn't made this in a while, so I was paying close attention to the instructions.) I may be absent-minded, but the vast improvement this made in the end result will help me remember to do this in the future. That may be soon: I've lunched on the leftovers all week and am not tired of it.

Bon appetit!


PS: I just recalled that SB has an interesting list of culinary links, filed under "FFavorites" in his sidebar, that I will want to explore some time in the near future. A favorite of my own is Cajun Grocer. I can now make gumbo again after receiving from my brother some much-needed supplies from there.


30-Minute Shepherd's Pie


black pepper
paprika, 1 tsp
chopped parsley leaves, 2 tbsp
beef bouillon cube, 1
butter, 2 tbsp
all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp
soy sauce, 2 tsp
olive oil, 1 tbsp
milk, 1/2 cup
red potatoes, 2 lbs (No. Don't peel them.)
ground beef or ground lamb, 1 3/4 lbs
carrots, 2
onion, 1
frozen peas, 1/2 cup


1. Add water and salt to pot for boiling the potatoes. Set to boil.

2. In the meantime, perform the following:
a. Wash and cube potatoes, setting them aside in a bowl.
b. Chop the onion and place in a second bowl.
c. If needed, peel the carrots. Chop carrots into small pieces and place in bowl with onion.
d. Place peas in a third bowl.
e. Place butter in small skillet.
f. Measure 1 cup water into saucepan for broth.
g. Mise en place: bouillon cube; containers for salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, olive oil, and soy sauce; measured-out milk and flour; bowl and spoon for mashing potatoes; and casserole dish.
3. Boil potatoes for about 12 minutes.

4. While the potatoes boil, perform the following:
a. Start preheating large skillet over medium high heat.
b. Defrost meat in microwave, if necessary.
c. Set water for broth to boil.
d. Coat hot pan with olive oil and add meat.
e. Season meat with salt and pepper, and brown for 3-4 minutes.
f. Dissolve bouillon cube in boiling broth water.
g. Add onion and carrot to meat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Drain potatoes and pour into mashing bowl.

6. Melt butter over medium heat in small skillet.

7. Preheat broiler to high.

8. Add milk to potatoes and mash until almost smooth.

9. Cook flour and butter together for 2 minutes.

10. Whisk in broth and soy sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute.

11. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.

12. Fill rectangular casserole dish with meat and vegetable mixture.

13. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top with paprika.

14. Broil 6-8 inches from heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

15. Top with parsley and serve.

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