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Comfort Food



I lived in England for a short while. Seven months to be exact.

I moved there the fall after I graduated from high school. Seven months in a castle in the Lancashire District in Northern England. It was incredible. Cold. Wet. I learned how to knit that year and bought my first pair of Wellies (rubber boots)!




I loved to go for long walks in the beautiful countryside. One of my favorite things were the long, rambling stone fences that stretched on for miles up and over the hillsides.  And the sheep grazing in the pastures. Little stone cottages and big stone cottages. Beauty all around.

Sorry for the lousy pics - I have NO IDEA what kind
of camera  I had back then.


What I didn't love so much was eating lamb. Growing up in western Canada, I ate beef and chicken and the odd tuna sandwich.

So I wasn't crazy about the Shepherd's Pie they served in that big 'ole drafty castle. I didn't like the taste or the texture of the lamb.

But I really liked the idea of Shepherd's Pie....

My version uses good old ground beef. When I ask my kids what they want for dinner, this recipe is the one most requested. So I will say that it has been tested and approved by picky eaters :)

Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients:
1 & 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 onion, chopped (I'm not crazy about onion, use more if you like it)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 beef bouillon cubes, dissolved in 1 cup hot water. Then 2 Tbs flour added to the hot mixture to make a slurry and whisk well.
1-2 cans green beans, drained well (or veggies of your choice)
2-3 cups grated cheese (or more! you can't have enough cheese!) any variety (monterey jack, mozzarella, cheddar, edam are all good choices)
6-8 potatoes, mashed

Here's what you do:

The first thing I do is start my potatoes boiling because they take the longest. If you are really pressed for time, you can use a large tub of the store-bought mashed potatoes.


I like to soften my onions and garlic in a little olive oil first. Did you know that if you add a little salt it speeds up the process?


Brown the ground beef with onions and garlic. Drain off juices that accumulate and season with salt and pepper. What to do with those yucky hot juices? I put it in a cup and into the fridge it goes. Once it cools it hardens, and I can scoop it out with a spoon into the garbage. No one has drank it yet :)

Um yeah, I only had 1 pound - no problem, I'll just add more cheese :)
Meanwhile, have your bouillon/flour slurry ready to go.


Add the slurry to the browned beef and stir until thick and bubbly, on medium heat. You want to let this cook for about 3 minutes or so to cook out the flour taste. Pour into a large, deep casserole dish.


Add 1 or 2 cans drained green beans (or other veggies) to the top of the meat mixture. I didn't have 2 cans beans, so I used 1 of beans and 1 of corn. Make sure you drain well first.


Add a generous layer of grated cheese. I mixed sharp cheddar and monterey jack.


At this point my potatoes are usually done and it's time to drain and mash them. I add butter and milk so they'll be nice and fluffy.


Add mashed potatoes to cover the cheese. Using a spatula, spread the potatoes around to the edges of the casserole dish and flatten them out. You want a nice, flat surface for the next layer.



Guess what? Another layer of cheese! Are you starting to understand why my kids like this dish?


Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until heated through and the cheese browns and gets all bubbly (my kids fight over that part!). Depending on your oven, this takes about 40-50 minutes.

Look at that cheese!

YUM!


Total time to prepare this dish is about 45 minutes, less if you have someone helping you peel potatoes, grate the cheese and so on.  Then there is the time in the oven. So allow just under 2 hours from start to finish.

Serves 6-8, with generous portions.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you made if and if your kids liked it :)




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5 comments:

  1. Wow Cindy! That looks super yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Nicole, I hope you try it...it is yummy :)

      Delete
  2. Shepherd's pie is some of my family's most requested too! :) Ian and I were at an English pub on Saturday night and he "took a chance" (his words) on their version. He quickly concluded that mine was much better!
    Yay for me!! - and yay for him! ;)
    (actually my recipe is almost exactly the same as yours, but I throw in some worchestire sauce for a little bit of a kick too.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I love when that happens! It is such validation :)
      The Worcestershire sounds great, I'll have to add some next time!

      Delete
  3. This looks delicious, and I appreciate all your helpful notes and tips! Bookmarking for this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ Delete Skype Account Watch Cartoons Online Sports Streaming Sites Movie Streaming Sites Speed Dating Questions

    ReplyDelete

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