Oh my goodness! This was definitely a filling meal! My husband and I will be eating this as leftovers for a few days! We have enough for an army! I know for a lot of people Shepherd’s Pie is something that they grew up with and for others they have never heard of it. Well, I was in the latter group. My first experience with Shepherd’s Pie was a little less than 10 years ago. My aunt introduce it to my family or maybe reintroduced it to us. She grew up in both South Africa and Edinburgh, Scotland and has a great accent that cannot be imitated! When my mom and I first had this meal with my Aunt and Uncle, he called it “gruel.” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t trying to be rude but it must have reminded him of something!
I have tried to make Shepherd’s Pie on my own once before and it didn’t turn out very well. Then Nate tried it how he remembered it when he was growing up. That attempt was a little better. I was very excited when I spotted this recipe in my Everyday Food magazine. This recipe makes enough for a large group (8) or enough for leftovers for a few days. My one piece of advice it to put a cookie sheet on the rack under the pan in case it boils over, like mine! This also is not a fast recipe, there is a lot of prep work with chopping the veggies. This recipe is a keeper!
Cheddar-Topped Shepherd’s Pie
source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart
- 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
- 6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, and thinly sliced
- 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (6 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 1 inch with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.
- Drain potatoes; return to pan. Cook over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add milk and 1 cup cheese. Mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.
- Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes (if topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.