Tonight Nelson had pie on his mind… of the meat variety, that is. Shepherd’s Pie – though we used beef rather than lamb, so technically, I believe this is called Cottage Pie (as far as I’ve read on the web).
This isn’t a dish Nelson and I grew up with, though we both recall our mom’s making something fairly similar to this. I remember making a version of this shortly after Nelson and I were married and we’d moved into our first apartment; only, I used boxed mashed potatoes (you know… the dehydrated flakes) and I didn’t add a lot of seasoning, so I recall my dish being rather bland. That’s about the time I realized I should stay out of the kitchen. I’m kind of iliterate, in a culinary sense, while Nelson has a knack and passion for it. Thank goodness one of us can cook well! Really well in my opinion.
Nelson’s Sheppard’s Pie was waaaaay better than my sad attempt from many, many years ago. This one was well-seasoned, it had carrots (which I prefer over peas), and Nelson used real mashed potatoes (you know…from potatoes…not a box).
You know we’re real meat and potatoes kind of people. Well, here you have it. Meat – check! Potatoes – check! Carrots for good measure – check! Oh, and a little sprinkling of cheese on top – check! Yup…meat and potatoes. You can’t go wrong.
All in it took about 1 hour to prepare, but it’s not at all complex and it doesn’t require much effort or planning. You know, as food illiterate as I may be, I know I could totally pull this off. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll give this a try again (it has been a long time since my first and only attempt). Or maybe I’ll just let Nelson make this again…and make every meal for that matter–he can cook to his heart’s content. It makes us all happy.
Grab your potato masher and give this a try sometime soon. Meals don’t have to be complicated to be delicious. Eat well, friends!
- For the Mash
- 3½ lbs Russet potatoes (baking potatoes), peeled and cut into one inch pieces
- 4 tbs butter, melted
- 1 cup 10% or half and half cream
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tbs fresh chives
- 2 medium carrots, peeled
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3½ lbs lean ground beef
- 4 Tbs flour
- 2½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
- 3 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup of white wine
- 1½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 ºF
- Heat a large pot of water on the stove top.
- Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes and carrots.
- Boil them until they're tender, about 15 minutes. A fork should polk through the potatoes easily.
- Pour the potatoes into a colander to let all the water drain.
- Remove the carrots and set them aside.
- Add the potatoes back into the pot.
- Add the melted butter, cream, 1½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, garlic powder and chives to the potatoes.
- Use a potato masher (or a large fork) to mash the potatoes until they're creamy and fluffy.
- Set the mashed potatoes aside.
- While the potatoes are boiling, heat the olive oil in a large wide pan to medium high.
- Add the onions and stir. Sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and break it apart until it's evenly distributed in the pan.
- Mix occasionally until the ground beef is browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the flour and mix it well into the ground beef.
- Chop the cooked carrots and add them over the meat.
- Add the 2½ tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, thyme leaves, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and white wine. Stir and continue to cook until the wine has almost completely reduced, about 10 minutes.
- Add the meat to a 5 quart Pyrex (or similar) baking dish.
- Spread the meet around evenly on the bottom.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the meat evenly.
- Pour the mashed potato over the cheese and spread until the meat is completely covered.
- Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese over the potatoes.
- Place the baking dish in the oven on the middle shelf.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the baking dish and serve hot. Enjoy!