Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

shepard's pie

So I asked my daughter recently, which foods I cooked that she liked best of all while she was growing up. She thought for awhile before stating "I don't remember you cooking that much!"

I felt like banging my head on the table. My head or her head, I couldn't decide which.

Sure, her dad cooked a lot - he's the better cook, and really and truly, he's the only man I know who can go into a kitchen, where I SWEAR there's nothing to eat, and pull together an excellent meal out of random items in the pantry and leftovers. I just don't have that kind of talent.

But I did my fair share of cooking, too. I think she just blocks some of it because we did a lot of stir fry, and she didn't like that. But she did come up with one or three things she did remember, with Shepherd's Pie being one of them.

This tickles me to no end, because I never even considered it. Shepherd's Pie is just one of those things you can cook without even thinking of it. It's easy, fast, and yummy (see a trend in my cooking here?)

Now just like with any other recipe for a favorite dish, there are hundreds of different recipes, all of which include mashed potatoes and some kinda ground up meat, either beef or lamb - but I'm gonna tell you how I make it, sorta kinda like how my momma made it.

Mashed potatoes
1/2 chopped onion (I use vidalia)
1 pound of ground chuck
1 can of peas
shredded cheddar

preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Melt a pat of butter in a pan and cook your chopped onion until they're starting to turn brown, then add your ground beef. Cook until it's well, cooked.

While that's cooking - make your mashed potatoes.

You can use left over mashed potatoes, or start from scratch. But really and truly - I use a package of Idahoan Yukon Gold Instant Mashed Potatoes. I can't tell the difference between theirs and mine, to be honest, even down to the occasional lump and pieces of skin.

Cook it up according to the package directions - 2 cups of water to one package and stir - easy! Or, just use 2 cups of mashed potatoes.

Liberally butter a pie plate, and dump the mashed potatoes in, using a spoon to flatten it out and work it up the sides, making a thick mashed potato crust. Dump the browned beef in the middle, piling it up in the middle. Drain a can of peas, and pour them between the mashed potatoes and the mountain of ground beef, like a ring.

If you're feeling Martha Stewart-ish, you can grow & use your own peas & potatoes, and it will taste fantastic - but I wasn't feeling very motivated today.

Shred some cheddar over all of it, and stick it in the oven until the cheddar is melted and the peas are hot; shouldn't take more than 15 - 20 minutes. Take out, and serve. Salt & pepper to taste. It should feed four people generously, 6 if you're scraping by.

That's it! Cost me - MAYBE - $5 to feed 4. Not a bad deal.

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