Friday, January 29, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Sometimes when I can't figure out what to make for supper, I turn to my friends for ideas. I'm always interested in what other people's go-to dinners are. My neighbour was over for tea one afternoon and she said her go-to was a shepherd's pie. I seldom make this dish so it was a good suggestion! I like shepherd's pie but don't like peas or corn mixed in so I adapted the general recipe for my tastes. I made individual shepherd's pies in french onion soup bowls and also made baby ones in little ramekins for my little one (minus the salt). What are your go-to dinners?

500 g/1lb lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
6-7 mushrooms sliced
2 cups beef broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 large potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter
generous handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese

Put potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover potatoes and boil until cooked through.
Meanwhile in a large skillet, saute onions and carrots until softened.
Push the veggies to the edges of the pan and brown the ground beef until no longer pink.
Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.
Add thyme and bay leaf, beef broth and allow to reduce a little.
Sprinkle cornstarch over top and mix thoroughly to thicken the gravy.
Prepare the mashed potatoes: drain and mash the potatoes and beat in milk, egg, parmesan cheese butter and season with salt and pepper (I use a hand mixer instead of a potato masher so potatoes are really fluffy and smooth).
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large glass baking dish (or individual casserole dishes), layer beef mixture on the bottom and mashed potatoes on top and smother with cheddar cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is bubbling and slightly brown on top.

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