Shepherd’s pie


Today’s been a great day so far, and I’m hoping to cap it off with one of my favorite meals, shepherd’s pie.

This is my first attempt at writing out a proper recipe for my old stand-by comfort food, which I usually do slightly differently every time as it’s generally a total mishmash of ingredients. This meal is great for substitutions — whatever you need to change, feel free to change, it’ll probably turn out just fine. The only thing I’m a stickler for, is the creamed corn and the Worcestershire sauce — they’re practically mandatory. Technically, this is a “cottage pie”, where we’re not using lamb or veal, but I don’t think anyone really cares that much about the misnomer here.

5-6 large potatoes
1lb ground beef
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 2tbsp soya sauce,
3 cloves garlic, minced (can substitute garlic powder to taste)
1 small white onion, chopped fine (optional)
1 can creamed corn
1-2 cups frozen / fresh mixed veggies of your choice
About 1/4 block of old cheddar cheese
Paprika
Parsley flakes

Peel, cut up and boil potatoes. Brown garlic if you have it, then ground beef with onion (I normally omit the onion as it doesn’t agree with Jodi’s stomach) and worcestershire, soya and garlic / garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste as well, and let it all reduce so that it’s not quite so liquidy as it’ll be when you first put in the sauces. (No, I don’t have an exact idea how liquidy it SHOULD be, but it should be reduced somewhat, at least so it doesn’t seem like hamburger soup.) I occasionally use some Montreal Steak Spice, which is just a garlic-and-pepper-based spice mix.

Preheat oven to 375. Mash potatoes as you’d normally prepare for a side dish — I usually use butter, sour cream, garlic salt and cracked black pepper. Add parsley flakes to the mixture. It’s okay if the potatoes are a little lumpy after this, they’ll probably cook down to a nice whipped state in the oven later anyway. Get out an oven-safe casserole dish (I have a big glass stovetop pot that works well in the oven for this), cover the bottom with the ground beef mixture. Add a layer of the veggies, then cover as evenly as you can with the creamed corn, then the mashed potatoes. Top with a dusting of paprika and grated cheddar.

Bake in the oven at 375 for ~25-30 mins. Turn the oven on broil for about 5 mins or until the cheese is melted and starting to form a proper crust. Serve immediately, should serve 4 healthy eaters with some leftovers for lunch the next day.

I totally reserve the right to edit this later. Like I said, my first written recipe, I’m bound to have forgotten something.

Comments

  1. Jodi says

    MMmmm … I can smell it cooking.
    I don’t think you mentioned if you boiled the frozen veggies first or not. If not, you’d probably want to do so if you use fresh veggies as they probably wont cook with the short oven time.

  2. says

    Okay, that’s an excellent point… we usually have frozen veggies, which are pre-cooked and only need to be thawed and warmed. Either pre-boil or leave in the oven an extra, I dunno, 15-20 mins?

    Completed, not yet oven-baked:

  3. says

    My wife doesn’t eat beef (and I eat it only on rare occasions), so we usually use either a fake meat (like Yves’ Meatless Ground Round Original) or ground turkey. The “fake” meat is also great for making chili. It would probably be better for the Shepherd’s pie than the ground turkey as its flavor is closer to that of beef.

  4. says

    Probably be healthier for us anyway, whether the ground turkey or the fake meat. Plus there’s the conscience thing, about having as few cow-based meals as possible, given their relative CO2 footprint. That fake meat actually looks pretty good, in fact. I’ll have to see if there’s anything like it at the stores around here.

  5. A. Hoffman says

    Ref: Shepherd pie:

    I made an experimental shepherd pie that turned out to be really good! Especially for autumn!

    Instead of topping it with mashed white potatoes, I used mashed yam/sweet potatoe blended with mashed carrot and mashed acorn squash. Instead of corn, gee, I forgot what I used, but I think it was diced carrots… layer of cranberry sauce on the meat. Obvious meat would be ground turkey, but you can put any kind of ground meat.

    It was really good! a little brown sugar on top or on the side wouldn’t be a bad idea either if you want to increase the acorn squash. Anyway, it was experimental so you can adjust everything.

    Bonnes eats!

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