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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie picture

While not a "southern" recipe, this dish is so tasty and delicious it just had to be added.
Shepherd's Pie is a satisfying meal for your family. Traditionally this dish used minced Lamb meat, hence the name "Shepherd's" pie.  It was a great way for poor families to make good use of any leftover meat, and find new ways to use potatoes.  In the northern region of Maine, the French call this Pate Chinois.
As time has gone by many cultures and areas have put their own twist on this great comfort food. This is my own revised version of New England Shepherds Pie. Using my favorite stand-by of Cream of Mushroom soup and Cheese, this version will have a little extra richness.

Things You'll Need:

3-4 lbs. Ground beef (depending on the size of your family)
1 medium onion
1 1/2 cups of diced Portobello mushrooms
1 can (15 oz) of creamed corn
, or if you like regular corn, kernels shaved off the cob is the best though..
1 cup of chopped bell pepper, red or green or both is great.
3 tbsp.  Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp. Soy sauce

1 can (26 oz) of Cream of mushroom soup (undiluted) low fat works great.
2 cups of Shredded Cheese (I like extra sharp, and also blends with Mozzarella)  A low fat version is great for trimming extra calories off this dish.salt, pepper, seasoned salt- (what ever you have)
1 packet of onion/mushroom soup mix.
9 X 13 inch baking dish
or larger 1-3 tablespoons of paprika
One batch of instant mashed potatoes
- make the biggest amount the instructions call for on the box(Please keep in mind real ingredients will always taste better than instant, but if you need a dish that is comparable and still delicious use instant).

Before you begin: preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Step 1

First things first , dice and chop your onions, mushrooms and bell peppers. Make them equal in size. In a large skillet, (I use a big electric fry pan) brown your hamburger meat and drain thoroughly in a colander. Tip:Drain hamburger meat in a metal colander and make sure to have a pot below to catch the grease. Otherwise you could end up clogging your drain with all that grease. Return to pan, and heat adding your peppers, mushrooms and onions. Add about a cup or so of water to simmer and let the onions mushrooms and bell peppers, cook through.
Step 2
Prepare you mashed potatoes following the instructions on the box for the largest servings. Add a cup or so of your shredded cheese to the finished potatoes. Set aside and return to your skillet with the browned beef and mushroom, onion/peppers.

Step 3

Add a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and soy, I like Lee and Perrins and Kikomans low sodium, to your browned beef. Stir in your packet of onion/mushroom dry soup mix and add a little more water. Do not make it soupy, just enough liquid to stir ingredients easily. Add any seasonings you like. Add your can of corn, and your cream of mushroom soup. Stir and let heat through. It should be quite well blended a bubbly after a few minutes.
Step 4
In your 9 X 13 dish, Pour your beef mixture in. If you have leftover mixture, you can freeze this for a second batch at a later date. Fill your baking dish up so that it is about 1 inch shy of the top edge, to make room for potatoes.

Step 5

Take remaining cheese and sprinkle it evenly across the top of your meat mixture. Carefully spoon and spread your mashed potatoes over the top of the meat and cheese and smooth over the top. Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper across the top, and add a few pats of butter for a crustier layer.

Step 6
Bake in your 375 degree oven just until the potatoes on top start to turn a golden color and edges are bubbling. Since all ingredients are cooked ahead of time the idea simply is to just heat it through enough to melt the cheese inside and crust over the potatoes.

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