Thursday, February 18, 2016

Shepherd's Pie




Nothing spells comfort food for me like a mouthful of Shepherd's pie. A layered casserole of meat, veggies and mashed potatoes is a simple but satisfying meal. A green salad is all you need to balance meaty flavors. 

The meat layer has options. You could use sauteed ground meat, be it beef, lamb or turkey. Chopped or shredded roasted meat leftovers are other choices. Add boiled peas, corn, carrots or parsnips to the prepared meat. Season it with tomato puree, ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce or soy, some garlic and seasonings. Pat the meat into a glass baking dish. Topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked till golden brown, this Englishman's favorite is now one of ours.


SHEPHERD'S PIE
Serves 2

1/2 pound ground Beef
1 teaspoon Olive Oil 
1 small Onion
2 teaspoons Garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon Chile powder
1/2 cup Tomato Puree 
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
Several grinds of Black Pepper 
1-2 cup frozen Peas
2 Carrots
1/2 cup frozen Pearl Onions
4 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes 
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
3 tablespoons Milk
2 tablespoons Butter


Heat olive oil in a saucepan. 

Peel and cut onion into small dice. Add to oil. Saute till pale and soft.

Mince garlic and add to onions.

Add ground beef to oil and saute till beef turns brown.




Add chile powder, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to meat. Saute for a few minutes. 

Cover and cook on a low flame for 10 minutes till meat is cooked. Keep aside.

Boil peas and carrots in water till done.  Drain veggies. Cut carrots into small chunks. Add to sauteed beef.



Add frozen pearl onions to beef.




Boil potatoes till cooked.

Peel and mash potatoes.

Make a well in the center of potatoes and add milk and butter. Mix potatoes till smooth. 

Season with salt. 

Heat oven to 350F.

Put beef into a 6x8 inch glass baking dish. Or divide the beef into individual portions as you see below.




Spoon mashed potatoes over beef. Spread potatoes so they cover the beef. 

Make a swirly pattern on potatoes using a fork. 




Bake pie uncovered for 20 minutes or until potato ridges are tipped brown. 

Enjoy the pie with a simple green salad.




NOTES

In place of beef, you could use any ground meat. Leftover roast beef or lamb is cooked the same way. It does taste best with red meat.

I use Yukon potatoes as I love their buttery flavor. Use any potato you like. 

If the topping doesn't quite brown, go ahead and broil the pie for a few minutes.

You could divide the meat into individual portions as I did.




Instead of one big pie I decide to make individual portions. The swirled pattern turns into crisp browned potato ridges. They make a small crunch as I plunge my fork into the pie. A forkful of warmth is all it takes to put me in my happy place.