Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homestyle Shepherd's Pie

I really struggled with Pi(e) day this year. We just got back from a trip to Disney World and we were feeling a little over indulgent. Last year I made this Snickerdoodle Pie. This year my goal was just to make a pie..or at least something that was a pie shape.
I thought about this strawberry pie, and making yet another quiche, but in the end it ended up being this Shepherd’s Pie. I know that it’s not a circle and it’s not dessert, but it’s hearty, homey and the perfect comfort food for a day like today when it’s only 20 degrees outside.

My only notes on this are:  1) I put too much milk in my potatoes, so they were just a little too soft and didn’t set up well on the top. 2) Should have used more cheese. You can never go wrong with more cheese, right? 3) Add whatever veggies you like and/or have on hand. You can't have too many veggies either.

Growing up my mom used to buy Beef Shepherd’s Pie from the Schwan man. I loved those things. I don’t know if they still make them, but it did bring to mind the fact that you could easily make this into two 8x8 casseroles and freeze one for later! I really need to get on board this make and freeze for later train. It just keeps passing me by.

Home-Style Shepherd's Pie

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound lean ground beef
1-15 ounce can green beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked carrots
1 cup peas (I used frozen)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Add the diced potatoes to a Dutch oven or a large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil until the potatoes are fork tender, 13 to 15 minutes. Drain and transfer the potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer on low, beat in 3 tablespoons of the butter, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and the garlic salt. Slowly add the milk, mixing until creamy.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minutes. Add the beef, 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat until browned. Drain the fat from the pan if necessary. Add the green beans, carrot, and peas, stir to combine, and reduce the heat to low.
4. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, whisking until combined. Slowly add the chicken broth, whisking until thick and creamy. Add the sauce to the meat mixture, stirring, then transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, then sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese is melted through.

Source: Picky Palate Cookbook

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