Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shepard's Pie

SO one of my favorite meals from being a kid is Shepard's Pie.

I still love it to this day for several reasons:
  1. it is super easy to make;
  2. it has all the basic components (veg, meat, starch);
  3. it freezes very very well so good for extended meal preparation;
  4. it has many ways to add more veggies to it!
It is really easy to double, triple or even quadruple the recipe for future freezing

Shepard's Pieingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp minced ginger (in the jar if you have it)
Dash of nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp of beef bullion powder (alternatively use stock instead of the water and mix)
3 cups of frozen corn (or peas, broccoli or anything really - even a mix)
6 medium potatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 (unless you are preparing this for freezing)

2. Put a medium pot of water on the stove;

3. Peal the potatoes, and quarter them, then place in the pot on the stove;

4. Add a few pinches of salt to the water;

5. Heat a little oil in a medium or large skillet on the stove over medium heat (or use non-stick);

6. Dice the onion and Celery and put them in the hot skillet - give them a good dose of salt and pepper;

7. Cook the onion and celery until soft;

8. Add the Garlic and Ginger to the skillet and give it a good stir;

9. Put the ground beef in the skillet and cook until brown making sure to break up any clumps of meat. I also add more salt and pepper at this point and any other spices you want for a kick (e.g., thyme, oregano) (NOTE: if you
 are using frozen meat and don't want to defrost it - put the meat in the pan first and break it up then add in the onion and celery).

10. Add the bullion to the boiling water (or heat the stock) and then whisk in the flour until mixed well and not clumpy.

11. Add the flower, and stock mixture to the frying pan. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer until it is a very thick gravy like sauce.

12. Once the meat mixture is simmering (or before if necessary) check the potatoes and once they are soft, drain them.

13. Add some butter, salt, pepper and milk to the potatoes and mash. You don't want the mixture to be too soft - you want it a little bit on the dry side as they will get softer from the moisture during cooking.

14. Once the meat mixture and potatoes are ready place the meat mixture in the bottom of a glass pan (I use a lasagna pan 8x11 I think) and then put the frozen veggies on top of that. Then layer with the mashed potatoes.

15. I then add a little bit of pepper to the top.

16. Pop in the oven for 50 minutes and serve!

TIPS for freezing: potatoes usually never freeze well (or so I'm told). I have frozen them when preparing for my daughter to be born and found that the best way to have them hold up is cook them a little harder then normal and then if making something like mashed potatoes keep the mixture much dryer than you normally would. Then when reheating you can add a little butter or milk ontop and they will get a nice texture.

Alternatively you can also make a cauliflower puree to go on the top of this to keep it healthier. Also you can add more veggies to the meat mixture - like mushrooms, green pepper, diced carrots. The key is to keep them on the smaller size (think the size of a kernel of corn or smaller).

Lastly, if you don't know how to make mashed potatoes let me know and I'll actually measure what I use and then post the directions on here!

1 comment:

  1. Totally reminds me of our life in early summer.. haha..gotta make it sometime soon!