Friday, January 27, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

If you watched my Grocery Tips Video you will know that grocery shopping is one of my least favourite tasks.  I am usually feeling uninspired when we sit down to plan out our meals for the week.  My husband could eat the same thing week after week whereas I need variety and get bored very easily.  This past Sunday was no exception.  I sat there leafing through cookbook after cookbook, with nothing tickling my fancy.  I have the best intentions of trying out new recipes but get intimidated by the long lists of ingredients always thinking to myself, "wouldn't it just be cheaper to eat out/eat KD?".  Also, sometimes a recipe only calls for a small amount of something but if it doesn't come in bulk form, you have to spend a lot and only use a teeny tiny portion.  

Anyways, enough ranting about meal planning and grocery shopping!  My mum always says, "be happy you can afford groceries".  That shuts me up!

So, getting to the point.  I decided to try Shepherd's Pie.  This is an easy to follow recipe, involving very few ingredients.  In fact, I barely had to buy anything as most of these items we keep stocked.  This is the recipe I used.  It is from The Joy of Cooking cookbook.  Underneath the recipe I will explain how I changed a couple things to make up for what I had in the cupboard.  
  • 1 1/2 pounds all-purpose potatoes, peeled, quartered, and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 pound raw ground lamb (for shepherd’s pie) or raw ground beef (for cottage pie) OR 1 pound finely-chopped leftover cooked lamb or beef
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Bring potatoes to a boil, add a teaspoon or so of salt, and cook until tender but not waterlogged, 10-15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the potatoes. Then mash, adding the cooking water along with 1 tablespoon butter and salt and pepper to taste. Beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy. You could also use a bit of milk.  

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a skillet and coat with cooking spray or oil, over medium-low. When hot, add vegetables and cook until soft.

Increase the heat to medium and add the meat. Cook until most of the pink is gone and then sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, herbs, and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. 

Spread the meat in a 9-inch pie plate or baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and heated all the way through, 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving in the baking dish.

(I used six large russet potatoes and added about half a cup each of frozen corn and peas.  I didn't have quite enough beef so the extra veg helped.  I think I also used about a cup of the stock because I just used a whole can.  Oh and I didn't have fresh spices but the dried worked great. And as you can see from the picture, I grated a bit of cheese on top to serve.  You could also bake the cheese right in.)
Voila!  If I can make this, anyone can:)  It made six servings and could even be divided into eight if you had some sort of side dish like bread or salad.  

1 comment:

  1. Yummm! Looks great Mare! I love the Joy of Cooking cookbook, you can literally find everything you need to know about cooking in it. It is a staple in every kitchen! I'm feelin' like some cottage pie right about now and am going to put it on my dinner list for next week. Thanks, Deb


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