SHEPHERD’S PIE – COMFORT FOOD EXTRAORDINAIRE

SHEPHERD’S PIE – COMFORT FOOD EXTRAORDINAIRE

Baby, it’s cold outside up here in these here hills!

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, on these cold winter nights, I like to cook up something warm and comforting. Toward that end, there is simply nothing more comforting than Shepherd’s Pie.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I believe the first time I experienced the wonderfulness of Shepherd’s Pie was on my honeymoon in the Cotswolds of Merry Ole’ England.  Brad and I ordered it one night for dinner in a centuries-old pub and relished over every last morsel.  So, when we returned home, I couldn’t wait to try and duplicate the delicious dish that will forever remind me of my honeymoon!  I have never followed a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie, so I can’t be sure how authentic my original recipe is.  I just know it reminds me of what I ate in that Pub in England a long time ago.  Therefore, in honor of my 21st wedding anniversary, which is today, I felt it fitting to share with you my recipe for Shepherd’s Pie, also known as Cottage Pie.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Dice 1 whole onion.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Peel, slice, then dice 3 large carrots.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Dice 2 large garlic cloves.  I am not a fan of peeling garlic, so I like to buy this vacuum-sealed, peeled garlic and keep it handy  in the frig.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Now, add 2 tablespoons butter or margarine to a deep, large pot.  I like to use my cast iron, Le Creuset, Oval French Oven for this dish.  It goes from stovetop to oven, making this almost a one pot dish.  You can see  above that I am showing a photo of Canola Harvest Buttery Spread.  I LOVE THIS STUFF and want to recommend it to you.  It tastes great, you can cook with it without it separating and turning to water like many other buttery spreads, it has no trans fats and has zero cholesterol.  So, as much as I love butter, I try to use Canola Harvest more often than not when a recipe calls for butter.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Melt the butter/margarine, then add the onions, carrots and garlic to the pot. Cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots are al dente, still slightly firm.

Costco Organic Beef, Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Now, you need about 1 and 1/4 pounds of ground beef.  I try, whenever possible, to buy organic foods, believing them to be better for us.  Costco sells this organic ground beef, which I keep in the freezer for occasions like this when I get the urge to make comforting Shepherd’s Pie.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Add the ground beef in with the carrots and onions.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Using a flat utensil, stir the beef, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Now it’s time to make a roux.  The roux is used as a thickening agent and will also add depth of flavor to the dish.  In a separate small frying pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine over medium heat.  Then add 1/4 cup of flour to the melted butter.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Whisk the mixture together, cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes until a semi thick paste forms.

Better Than Bouillon, Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Here’s another product I love and use all the time: Better Than Bouillon.  It comes in lots of flavors but, in this case, we will use the beef version.  Add 2 heaping tablespoons of “Better Than Bouillon Beef Base” to the meat mixture. In addition to giving added flavor to the dish, it also replaces the need for a lot of salt.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stir it around until thoroughly incorporated.  Now, taste the meat mixture at this point and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Add the roux into the meat mixture.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Finally, add 3 cups of milk.  I use 1% milk because that’s what I keep on hand.  It’s just another way to reduce some of the naughtiness and make this dish healthier. It does not compromise the flavor.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stir it, cooking until it begins to thicken.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next you’ll need 1/2 pound of frozen peas.  Add about 1/2 of a 1 pound bag in a strainer and quickly run them under water to remove any ice particles and separate the frozen peas.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Add the peas to the meat mixture and stir to incorporate.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Now you’ve got this lovely meat, carrot and pea mixture combined with a thick, lovely, beefy gravy base.  Remove it from the stove and set it aside.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It’s now time to make the mashed potatoes, which will top off the Shepherd’s Pie. Fill a large saucepan with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Peel 4 pounds of yukon gold potatoes and cut them into uniform, 1 inch cubes. Add the potatoes to the water and bring to a boil.  Cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.  Add 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine to the hot potatoes.  Pour in 1/2 cup milk.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Using a handheld mixer, beat the potatoes until smooth.  Mix in salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Once the potatoes are whipped to a smooth consistency, dollop them in large spoonfuls over the top of the meat mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, carefully spread the potatoes evenly over the meat.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

When I have it on hand, I try to use a sharp, white cheddar cheese in my Shepard’s Pie.  Other times I will combine yellow cheddar with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.  In either case, sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the potatoes.  It is also customary to, instead, mix the cheese right into the potatoes.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Now place the baking dish into the oven, preheated to 400 degrees.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Cook until the cheese is melted and slightly browned on top.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Dish it out using a large serving spoon.

Cottage Pie Recipe | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A simple green salad on the side completes your delicious and satisfying comfort food dinner.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BRAD.  

SHEPHERD'S PIE - COMFORT FOOD EXTRAORDINAIRE
 
On a cold, wintery evening, this dish is a comforting and delicious main course.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
  • 1 Large Onion, Diced
  • 3 Carrots, Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-1/4 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 2 Heaping Tablespoons Better Than Bouillon
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
  • ¼ Cup Flour
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • ½ Pound Frozen Peas
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • ½ Pound Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, Grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Meat Mixture
  3. Dice 1 whole onion.
  4. Peel, slice, then dice, 3 large carrots.
  5. Add 2 Tablespoons Butter or margarine to a deep, large pot.
  6. Melt butter/margarine, then add the onions, carrots and garlic.
  7. Cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots are al dente.
  8. Add the ground beef to the pot.
  9. Using a flat utensil, stir the beef, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
  10. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.
  11. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of "Better Than Bouillon Beef Base" to the meat mixture.
  12. Stir until incorporated. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  13. Roux
  14. In a separate small frying pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine over medium heat.
  15. Then add ¼ cup of flour to the melted butter.
  16. Whisk the mixture together, cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes until a semi- thick paste forms.
  17. Add the roux to the meat mixture and stir until incorporated.
  18. Add 3 cups of milk and stir until it begins to thicken.
  19. Add the peas to the meat mixture and stir to incorporate.
  20. Remove it from the stove and set it aside.
  21. Mashed Potatoes
  22. Fill a large saucepan with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt.
  23. Peel 4 pounds of yukon gold potatoes and cut them into uniform, 1 inch cubes.
  24. Add the potatoes to the water and bring to a boil.
  25. Cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  26. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.
  27. Add 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine to the hot potatoes.
  28. Pour in ½ cup milk.
  29. Using a handheld mixer, whip the potatoes until smooth.
  30. Mix in salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  31. Dollop potatoes in large spoonfuls evenly over the top of the meat mixture.
  32. Using a rubber spatula, carefully spread the potatoes over the meat.
  33. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the potatoes.
  34. Place dish in preheated oven and cook until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  35. Spoon out and serve.

PS – The folks at Costco, Canola Harvest and Better Than Bouillon don’t know me. I’m just a big fan.

So there you have it: SHEPHERD’S PIE – COMFORT FOOD EXTRAORDINAIRE

All opinions expressed in this post are my own.   All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.

Comments

logo

LET'S SOCIALIZE!

SUBSCRIBE

and be the first to see the latest & greatest from After Orange County

We hate spam and promise to keep your email address safe.