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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Paddy-Approved Shepard's Pie

You'd think that with a very hungry Irish boyfriend I would have made this a long time ago. But I just tried it a few weeks ago and it was officially approved. A very easy meal to make and so good on a snowy winter day like today - we've got more than a foot and it's still falling!

~1.5 lbs of ground beef (1 package makes enough for about 4 people) - I like using sirloin
1/2 large onion - diced
1 celery stalk - diced small
1 carrot - diced small
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup beef broth + a little more if needed
2-3 tbsp flour
2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp steak sauce if you have it (like HP or A1)
4 yukon gold potatoes
1 leek - just the white sliced thinly
1 cup frozen peas
Grated chedder &/or mix of mexican shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375

1. Chop the potatoes into quarters and boil with lots of salt until a fork is easily inserted.
2. Drain the water and mash the potatoes.
3. Add 3/4 cup of milk and 2-3 pats butter (add more milk to make a little smoother but not soupy! - you want to be able to spread them on top of the meat later). Keep potatoes covered.

4. Saute the beef in a little olive oil over medium heat. Stir frequently and make sure to mash the beef into small bits. Once just cooked through, remove from pan and set aside in a bowl.

5. In the same pan, (add a little more olive oil if you need to but there should also be some juice from the meat) saute the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic over medium high until the onion is translucent and other veggies soften.
6. Add the meat back into the pan with veggies and season with lots of salt and pepper.
7. Add a tiny bit of steak sauce if you have it and keep on low/med low heat.

8. In a saucepan, melt 3-4 pats of butter.
9. Add the flour and stir until it forms a roux/paste.
10. Add the beef broth and turn the heat to medium high. Stir/whisk until it becomes a medium thick gravy.
11. Add salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

12. Pour the gravy into the meat mixture and stir together.
13. Add the peas. Keep the meat mixture on medium.

14. In the empty gravy saucepan, add a little more olive oil, a few more pats of butter and the leek. Saute until very tender (~5-10 min).
15. Pour into the mashed potatoes and mix well.

16. Pour the meat mixture into a large baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes on top (don't be afraid to use your hands!) and top with a thin layer of shredded cheese.
17. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and/or a little browned.

Bake until cheese is melted and potatoes are a bit crusty.


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