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Friday, October 21, 2011

Shepard's Pie

This week got away from me!  Between birthday celebrations, a wedding and family stuff, it's suddenly Friday and I have no blog posts to show for myself.  I will tell you that some of the highlight foods of the week were Red Beans and Rice and Carrot Apple Ginger Soup.  The lowlight was the night I was so tired I couldn't muster the energy to make anything more interesting than pasta.  In my 30+ week pregnancy fog, I thought to myself that I would jazz up the pasta with some goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes and olive oil.  I had the brilliant idea of softening the sun dried tomatoes in the microwave, so I put them in a bowl with a little olive oil, turned it on, and promptly wandered away and got distracted by Facebook.  I was jolted back to reality by the smell of burning sun dried tomatoes.  They went in the trash, I substituted fresh tomatoes, and opened all the windows to air out the kitchen.

Last Saturday we attended the wedding of our wonderful friends, Ricky and Christine.  It was a fantastic evening, they were both so relaxed and happy.  I was especially happy because they had something like 15 different appetizers, and I tried them all.  Part of the dinner buffet was individual Shepard's pies, a favorite of the groom.  By the time I got there, they had swapped in lobster mac and cheese, which was more than fine by me, but it got me thinking about Shepard's pie.

Shepard's Pie
Ingredients:
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
Butter and milk to taste for mashed potatoes
1 Tablespoon butter or canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 carrots (about 2 cups), peeled and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups peas, defrosted
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 pound ground turkey or beef
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon flour
1 cup beef stock
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Put chopped potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
Mash, mixing in milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter or oil over medium heat.
Cook onion, carrots, and celery about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add in garlic, cook one minute more.
Remove vegetables to a bowl, and mix in thawed peas.  I ended up using way more peas because I had an awkward amount left.  Adjust vegetable quantities however you want. 
Brown ground meat in the pan, drain any excess fat.
Return vegetables to the pan, add in spices and flour, cook for one minute.
Pour in beef stock and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook until slightly reduced.
Put meat and vegetable mixture in a prepared baking dish.
Spread mashed potatoes over the top.  Attempt to make artful peaks for aesthetic purposes.
Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.



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