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Shepherd’s Pie: A Midwinter Meal to Warm Your Heart

Submitted by on January 19, 2010 – 10:53 AMNo Comment
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It’s cold.  It’s gray.  It’s winter.  This is not a time for nouvelle cuisine.  What you need is meat and potatoes served up fast, a meal that doubles as comfort food.  This shepherd’s pie is just what you need to chase the chill away.

It’s basically a meat pot pie with mashed potatoes instead of pastry on top.  You can add or subtract veggies, spice it up or down, add cheese to the mashed potatoes or on top.  Here’s the basic recipe.

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Prepare the beef mixture

Ingredients:

-1 ½ pounds ground beef
-1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
-½ stick butter, unsalted
-1-2 cups vegetables (carrots, peas, corn)
-½-1 cup beef broth (or water)
-1 tsp. Worcester sauce
-Salt
-Pepper

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onion.

2. Sauté onion until it is transparent, then add the other vegetables.  Note: If you’re using raw carrots, add them at the same time as the onions so they’ll start to soften.

3. Add the ground beef and cook until all the pink is gone.

4. Stir in the Worcester sauce and ½ cup beef broth. Note: If the beef broth is salted, you may not need to add additional salt.

5. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding additional beef broth if needed.

6. Put the meat mixture into a glass casserole pan.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the mashed potatoes

Ingredients:

-3 large potatoes
-½ stick butter
-½ cup milk
-Salt
-Pepper

Directions:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters.
  2. Boil until tender.
  3. Drain the pot and mash the potatoes.
  4. Add the milk and butter, salt and pepper.  (Don’t worry if there are a few lumps.)
  5. If you like cheesy mashed potatoes, at this point you can add a cup of grated cheddar or dried parmesan to the mix.
  6. Spoon the mashed potatoes completely over the meat layer.  Don’t smooth it out.  You want the little peaks and crags of potato to brown a bit.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees until everything is bubbling and  hot.  It will take about half an hour.
  8. If the top isn’t as brown as you like, run it through the broiler for a minute or two.

This recipe will serve four.

Beer

With a sturdy meal like this, you’ll want a sturdy beer.  Something like Old Chubb – Scottish-style ale from Oskar Blues. It’s 8.0% ABV and has low carbonation. The strong malty/caramel toffee flavors completes this hardy meal.