Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is one of my favorite comfort foods.

I hate winter weather, but winter food is the best. Soups, casseroles, stews, ... I love them all.

I made this for a bunch of my friends from grad school one night and everyone ate it up, so the amount of food in the pictures is double the amount in my recipe. Sorry for the confusion.

You will need: 1.5 lbs of ground beef, 1 large onion, 1 clove of garlic, 1 large carrot, 1 cup of frozen peas, 1 Tbsp of corn starch, 1-2 cups beef broth, 1/2 cup of red wine, 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, 3/4 cup grated Parmesan,  2.5 lbs of red potatoes, 2 Tbsp butter, 1/2-1 cup of half and half, 1 bay leaf and salt and pepper, to taste.

Dice the large onion.

Mince up the garlic.

Start browning the ground beef in a large saucepan.

Add the onions and garlic.

Stir everything around and mash it up until the beef is browned and crumbled.

In the meantime, wash and dice the potatoes and throw them into a large pot...

Cover the potatoes in water...

And bring them to a boil. I like to add the salt at this point. I'm not sure why.

Dice up a carrot...

And throw it in with the beef. I swear my carrots are normal. I just haven't gotten the hang of making them appear that way in photos.

Now pour in 1/2 cup of red wine. Let the liquid reduce.

Mince 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary...

Pull 1 Tbsp of leaves off the stem of the thyme and give them a rough chop...

And chop 2 Tbsp of fresh parsley.

Add them to the beef mixture...

Along with the bay leaf.

Now pour in 1 cup of beef stock and let the mixture simmer. If it gets too dry, pour in more stock.

While the meat mixture is simmering, your potatoes should be fork tender so drain them...

And pour them back into the pot.

Add 2 Tbsp of butter...

And 1/2 a cup of half and half.

Mash!! If the mixture is too thick to mash, add more half and half. But be careful. You want the potatoes to be really thick.

Now grate 3/4 cup of parmesan...

And stir it into the potatoes. Check the potatoes for seasoning. Then eat 3 spoonfuls because potatoes are delicious.

Look how thick! That's exactly how you want them.

Now back to the meat! Mix together 1 Tbsp of corn starch and 2 Tbsp of beef broth until there are no lumps of corn starch. Then slowly pour the mixture into the meat while stirring constantly. This makes for a nice thick sauce. Unfortunately, I needed 2 hands for the corn starch part so I didn't have a hand to take a photo. Then throw in 1 cup of frozen peas.

Look at the pretty colors! Now is a good time to play Marco-Polo with the bay leaf and take it out.

Now if you want to go for individual servings, scoop some of the meat mixture into a ramekin...

And throw on some mashed potatoes.

Now use a spoon to make lots of peaks and valleys in the potatoes.

Now throw the ramekins in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes until the peaks brown like this!

If you don't want to go the individual route, do the same thing in a large oven safe dish, which is what I did when my friends came over. I had about 10 people over and I only own 4 ramekins.

Am I good at math or what?

Yum! This is one of my favorite kinds of meals to make because it's all in one. You don't have to worry about side dishes.

A perfect winter meal to share with my fellow classmates.

Shepherd's Pie
Serves: 5

  • 1.5 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp of corn starch
  • 1-2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2.5 lbs of red potatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2-1 cup of half and half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste.
  1.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, crumble and brown the beef with the garlic and onion.
  2.  Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the carrot, wine, and herbs to the ground beef. Allow to reduce by 1/2 then pour in 1 cup of beef stock and allow the mixture to simmer. If it gets too dry, add in more broth.
  4.  When the potatoes are fork tender, drain them then throw them back into the warm pot. Add butter, 1/2 cup of half and half, and Parmesan.  Mash the potatoes. If they're too thick to mash, add some more half and half but keep the potatoes nice and thick. Set aside.
  5. Mix together the corn starch and 2 Tbsp of beef broth until there are no lumps. Then slowly pour the mixture into the beef while stirring constantly. Add in the peas.
  6. Grab a large oven safe dish or several ramekins and evenly distribute the meat mixture and then top with the potatoes. make some nice spikes with the potatoes then throw it under the broiler until the potatoes have browned. Enjoy!