When I was a little girl, I use to go to my grandparent's house often. Actually, every Friday and most weekends I would spend the night. Their house was my favorite place to be and I lived for Fridays when I could go and hang out with my Grandfather.
Often, my cousins would come over and it was from my cousin Catie that I learned about shepherd's pie. It seemed to my little girl's eye, that she was just throwing food into a pot but when she pulled it out of the oven it smelled so delicious and that first bite - amazing, simply amazing.
Believe it or not, I have never really made it as an adult. I made variations of it with cream of mushroom soup but it was not the same. Truth be told, I didn't really learn how to cook until about ten years ago so I thought my version was good enough.
A few months ago, the girls at my job decided to throw a comfort food potluck which happen to fall the same day as my son's school's family heritage potluck dinner. Last year I made cabbage and noodles and it seemed like everybody else did too so this year I figured I would make something that would fit both events. The first dish that came to mind was my cousin's shepherd pie.
It was a little daunting trying to recreate it and keep my emotions in check. So much time has past and so many sad memories since the last time we ate together. When I made this, my cousin and I had not spoken in three years and I had severed all ties to my mom's side of the family. Not that this was hard to do, they had cut me out years before that day.
Making this dish was reconnecting me with them just a little bit.
I am not sure how the family's at the school liked mine because there were three other shepherd's pies there when I got there and no cabbage and noodles! Oh, the irony. I do know that the girls at worked loved it. In fact, one has asked me repeatedly to make it again because to her it tasted like home. I won't ever make it again for them because that is way to much pressure. I will share the recipe.
I actually had to Google what was in it besides meat, veggies, and potatoes. I ended up using a version from Simply Recipes, but used frozen mixed vegetables and boxed potatoes since I was making so much of it and by so much I mean two large lasagna pans plus a crock-pot full for work.
Short Cut Shepherd's Pie
- 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables - carrots, corn, peas
- 1 box of potato flakes
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Saute the onions until clear with 2 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven or a pot large enough for everything and can go into the oven. Add the ground beef to the onions and season with salt and pepper. I used really lean beef so I could use the juice from the beef in the dish.
While the beef is browning, make the potatoes according to the box. You will need enough to cover the mixture with at least an inch of potatoes.
Once the beef is done, add the broth and Worcestershire sauce and let simmer for about ten minutes. This is what will make it taste like you were cooking it all day.
Finally, add the frozen veggies, top it with the potatoes and top the potatoes with at least a had of stick of butter - melted already or cubed and let it melt while making. Bake for about twenty minutes or until the potatoes are a little browned.
This really is a one pot meal.