How many variations to a Shepherd’s Pie would you guess there are?
To bake in a shell or not. Beef or lamb. Vegetable combinations. Mushrooms?
So many decisions.
I waded through several Shepherd’s Pie recipes and decided to start with one I found on Womanista. I made a couple of small changes. Winner!
Let me tell you why –
Easy. EZ. Eeeeeeezzzzzzeeeee.
Sure, you have some chopping (onions, carrots, celery, garlic).
But how difficult is chopping?
I was visiting Jackie when I made this so I had to chop the “old fashioned way.”
Normally, I’d use a chopper or even my Vitamix blender to take care of that task super fast (I’m talking within a few seconds).
But old-fashioned hand chopping is what I did. No big deal.
No crust was used in the making of this Shepherd’s Pie. Not needed. We served these in miniature ramekins that I picked up at Cost Plus World Market for . . . cheap.
To cut down on prep time even more, I used instant mashed potatoes.
Yes I did! And I did it with pride.
Jeff’s originally from Wisconsin. I remember the first time I endeavored to make him a proper home cooked meal (Thanksgiving 1988), my friends were horrified that I was actually going to serve instant mashed potatoes to this Midwestern boy.
I listened to their advice.
I sheepishly put the box away and made real mashed potatoes.
On top of all the other dishes I was preparing that year, I’m not positive there was much return on my investment of time. Jeff was just happy someone was cooking for him. I could have served him cereal to be honest.
Now, nearly 30 years later, I’m thinking instant potatoes should be a staple in everyone’s pantry.
I used the basic, buttered variety but I was tempted to grab the roasted garlic potatoes. Next time.
Make the beef mixture, spoon into serving dishes (like the ramekins), plop some potatoes on top and enjoy.
And a little tip here — if you coordinate the mashed potatoes so that they are piping hot when the beef mixture is ready, there’s no need to bake these in the oven.
Trust me. I know. And Jackie and her friends would agree. I think I even saw one of them eating the cold leftovers the next day . . .
Ice cold Shepherd’s Pie, anyone???!
Enjoy – The Recipe Wench
Serves 3/4 cup each (approx.)
Shepherd’s Pie – topped with instant mashed potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 medium carrots, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 pound ground beef (lean)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups beef broth (1 can)
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn