Hello once again my fellow kitchen fanatics! Been a decent first three months of 2016, however the weather could be a bit more agreeable. Honestly the calendar says Spring but the sky says snow, at least it isn’t amounting to much.
With the temperature still being a bit chilly I’ve been keeping the fridge stocked with hearty Chili and most recently Shepherds Pie. This meat and potatoes dish is always a cold day favorite in my book. I personally haven’t seen many variations on the recipe, sometimes you could use a different spud or meat that isn’t beef. But sometimes that’s the advantage of such a meal, you always get the same glowing feeling when you dig in.
1 Lb Ground Beef
5-6 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes washed and quartered
1/2 Yellow Onion diced
1 Bag Frozen Vegetable Medley (corn, carrots, green beans, etc)
1 Can Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
(You will need: large skillet, baking dish (9×11), potato masher or ricer, large pot for boiling, aluminum foil)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Begin with a large pot of water on high heat and add in the prepared potatoes. (Only fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes to prevent overflow). While the potatoes are boiling, start with the olive oil in a large skillet setting the heat to medium high and add in the ground beef. Once all of the meat has browned drain the fat from the skillet and place the beef in a separate bowl. Keep 1/4 cup of beef fat in reserve and do not clean the skillet, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Next using the same skillet add back the reserved fat on medium heat and combine the yellow onion and vegetable medley, cooking until the vegetables become tender. While the vegetables are cooking, using a small sauce pan on low heat combine together the cumin, worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Stir the sauce every so often and turn the heat down to a very low simmer if you’re worried about burning. While the sauce heats up, test the potatoes to ensure they are done, (best way is to use a fork and spear a few pieces, if they fall off the fork and back into the water without any help they are ready). Make sure to turn off the heat from the finished vegetables and carefully drain the pot leaving the potato pieces in. With the potato masher or ricer, combine the cooked potatoes with the heavy cream and unsalted butter, mixing the spuds up until they reach a fluffy consistency. Add a bit of salt and pepper to the potatoes until you are satisfied with the taste.
Now for the grand finale, in a large bowl combine together the cooked ground beef, veggies, and the tomato sauce, seasoning with a dash of salt and pepper. Take the baking dish and pour the meat and veggie mixture evenly over the bottom of the dish. Next with a large spoon or spatula and spread the mashed potatoes over the bottom layer. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Once the time is up carefully remove the aluminum foil and turn the heat up to the broil setting. Continue baking for 3 to 5 minutes or just until the top layer of the Shepherds Pie has a nice golden brown color. Remove from the oven and allow a few minutes to cool and enjoy warm.
Not overly complicated and it tastes delicious! I’ll admit it is a bit hard trying to balance out the ratio of topping to meat and veggies, mostly because I am such a fan of hand made mashed potatoes. The top layer was gorgeous and I am more than interested in trying a version with Sweet Potatoes instead. But for now thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy Spring! Until next time!