Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shepherd's Pie Recipe ~ One of my family's favorites!

Shepherd's Pie rates in my family's top two recipes that I make. There are no leftovers, usually! I have been making Shepherd's Pie for the last couple of years and have modified the original recipe I got from a friend several times. The current recipe is just as good as the first was! I just tend to change a recipe over time. 

Shepherd's Pie is a UK/Irish recipe, dating back to 1791. It is sometimes known as Cottage Pie. In early cook books, it was made with both a potato crust on bottom and top. Today's version just uses a potato topping. Some recipes use a tomato base instead of a gravy base. You are more than welcome to use a can of diced tomatoes instead of the packet of gravy if you prefer a tomato base. 

Although there are several variations, including the use of boxed potatoes and prepared refrigerated potatoes, I'd rather take the extra time to make homemade mashed potatoes because I think they taste so much better! This is the recipe for my version of Shepherd's Pie:
  • 4 medium to large Russet potatoes
  • Ingredients to season mashed potatoes to taste (butter, milk, salt, pepper)
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • Hamburger Seasoning to taste like McCormick or Weber's Hamburger Seasoning
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Parsley to taste (about 1 tbsp)
  • Ground Cumin to taste (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 package of frozen Birds Eye Ready Recipe Mirepoix mix that has Onion, Carrots, & Celery
  • 1 package of brown gravy mix
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese of your choice ~ optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cube potatoes then wash properly and boil in salted water for 20 minutes until done. Meanwhile, brown beef in a large pot. Add dry seasonings as the beef is almost done. Drain the fat and remove browned beef from the pot. Mix up the gravy in the large pot, according to directions on the gravy packet. When it's done, return the seasoned meat to the pot and add in the frozen vegetables. Stir well and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until bubbly. As the potatoes are done, prepare them as you would normally prepare mashed potatoes. Transfer the meat/vegetable mixture to a medium sized casserole dish and spread the mixture out in an even layer. Lastly, top the mixture with the prepared mashed potatoes. One option is to go ahead and add the shredded cheese on top so that the cheese is baked into the potatoes in the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes. 

This is the finished product! Yumm!

I added a cheddar cheese blend to mine for an added yumminess factor!