Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumped up Shepard's Pie

I needed a casserole type dish that we would all eat and that Smarty Pants could/would heat up for himself since us parents did not plan on being home when he was supposed to be eating dinner. Neither one of us were planning on being home until drive time, then heading back to the meet if it was still going on.

Picky One had his first high school gymnastics meet and we both wanted to watch, starting at 5pm. Smarty Pants had his math class starting at 6pm (at the local university). He should be eating by 5:30. Since hubby and I didn't plan on being home, I had to make something easy and quick...and hopefully tasty.

I had told hubby that i would make a shepards pie. He told me that I had better make a salad 'cuz he doesn't really care for it.

Hey when we went to an Irish pub recently with Picky One and he said he liked it...I had to give it a try. Right?

I searched Pinterest and came out with 5 different recipes that each had their own special ingredients. I don't think I really need to give credit to each of the I? I took the special ingredients from all of them and combined them and totally changed them around to make my totally different and easier/quicker version of the Shepard's pie (some call it Cottage pie)...I will put an * by each of the special ingredients. All of the ingredients are in italics. I hope this isn't too confusing the way I did this.

Prepare a 13" x 9" pan with cooking spray. Set aside. I am not positive what temperature or for how long to cook this. we all just took bowl fulls and nuked (microwaved) it for ourselves. The average of all of the other recipes gives me 375 for 20 mins or until light light browned or bubbly.

Sautee in large fry pan with following other ingredients:

1-1/2 lbs ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce *
2 tsp dried thyme *

Drain off excess fat/liquid.

Mix together (in separate bowl):

1 bottle of beer *
1/2 cup water
2 packets of brown gravy mix 

Add to meat mixture with:

2 Tbs tomato paste*
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon*
1 tsp dried thyme*
1 tsp dried parsley*

Stir well to combine. Simmer down until you have a nice thick sauce.

You now have the bottom layer precooked. Pour into prepared pan.  Now, take a 

16 oz bag of frozen vegetables of your choice (I used mixed veggies: corn, peas, green beans and carrots) defrost if you will be putting it directly into the oven when complete. Don't bother if it's waiting until later. Place as the second layer on top of the meat. I think that keeping it frozen help to keep the veggies green. Boil :

3 cups of water

Take off heat. Mix in :

2 packets of mashed potato flakes (I used one butter, one roasted garlic) 
1 cup milk
1 tsp shallots (optional)
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese 

You have now finished your final layer. Spread it on top of the vegetables. Gently! It's a tough layer to spread. Mine was really thick. I'm guessing it was because of the cheese.

You're done!

Either dish it up and nuke it like we did. Or put in the 375 degree oven for 20-25 mins.


Let me tell you...My kids loved it! I loved it! 

And wait for it...

My hubby who said he doesn't like it...Loved it too! He actually had seconds and no salad!

Yay! We have another regular to add to our menus!

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