Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Shepherd's Pie

This is a longtime favorite of our family, and my favorite recipe to make double of (as long as we're making it anyway), freeze in a disposable pan, and give away to families with new babies or health difficulties, or who just need a little love.  It's full of vegies and man, Monica ate about half the pan last night by herself!

For the topping:
1 1/2 lb potatoes
salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef (traditionally shepherd's pie is lamb, but it's great with beef!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (we love this stuff, load it on!)
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

Cut the potatoes into 1 inch chunks, place in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and boil on high heat, covered.  After they achieve boiling, uncover and decrease heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 10-15 min, or until they are easy to shmoosh.  Then drain them, return them to the pan, and mash with your favorite masher.  Consider whipping them with beaters, as well; we like to do that so that they are real smooth to put on top of the filling.

Preheat the oven to 400.

While the potatoes are cooking, sautee the onions and carrots in preheated olive oil in a 12-inch pan over medium heat.  After they start to look dark, 3-4 min, add the garlic and stir it in.  Add the meat, and salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, or until the meat is just about completely browned and cooked.  Sprinkle it all with flour, cook for another minute, then add tomato paste, broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir it all together.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-12 min until it's a little thickened.

Add corn and peas to the meat mixture and spread evenly in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.  Top with mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber scraper (this is the point I'll wrap up and freeze the extra batch for a friend, writing on the lid how to bake it).  Bake for 25 min or until the potatoes just begin to brown.

~Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe
A potato-y smile for a friend in need!

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