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Shepherd’s Pie, This Humble Meal Deserves the Spotlight

November 25, 2010

Shepherd’s Pie is the most balanced meal you’ll find.  One third meat and sauce, one third vegetables and one third potatoes.  You may vary every layer to suit your taste or what you have on hand.  My mother always made this dish with a tomato soup base, but the group home I lived in later only made it with cream of mushroom soup which gives an entirely different, more rich taste.  If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add onions and celery to the meat while frying.  Or I’ll add a little garlic  and parmesan cheese to the mashed potatoes.  Anything goes, but the simplicity of this dish is it’s greatest feature.

Ingredients:

500 grams of ground meat, the cheapest one at my grocery store is always a beef, veal, pork combo, so I buy it, and try not to think about how it’s the cutting board sweepings after all the regular grinding is done.

4-6 potatoes

Mixed frozen vegetables, about 2 cups

One can of tomato soup or cream of mushroom soup or try your favorite creamy soup

Butter, just a bit.

Makes 4 generous servings in a 9×9 baking dish, try 1.5x ingredients to fill a larger 13×9 dish for 6-8 servings so you have enough for hot lunches too.

The potatoes will take the longest, so cut them up and throw them in a pot of cold water (always start potatoes in cold water, not already boiling water).  Let boil until soft and mashable.

While the potatoes are cooking, fry up your ground meat.  Mm, square of ground meat.  I need to find myself a local butcher, stat.  I dream of the days when I can buy my beef ground separate from my pork, grin.

When the ground meat is cooked and browned, lay it in the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish.  Add the can of soup and stir.  As you are almost done, you may want to start preheating your oven to 375 degrees now.

Layer a similar amount of (still frozen) vegetables atop the meat.

Finally, your potatoes are hopefully ready to be mashed and layered atop the frozen vegetables.

I dot a bit of butter on top of the mashed potatoes just to encourage browning.  Bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.  You can get away with 30 minutes if you are rushed, but maybe broil for two minutes at the end to ensure the top is browned and crispy.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.  You can get away with 30 minutes if you are rushed, but maybe broil for two minutes at the end to ensure the top is browned and crispy.

A substantial hunger appeaser!

Did you choose tomato, mushroom or another creamy soup base for your humble Shepherd’s Pie? Jump up.

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From → Mains

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