My kids love anything with mashed potatoes and ground beef. The melted cheese on the top is like icing on a cake. What is not to like about that? It is definitely high on the list of Comfort foods. This week has been extremely wet; it feels like monsoon weather. Now that we have experienced this wet drizzly rain, fog and ugly grey days, I want it to dry up. Living in this city with 4 distinct seasons, I do enjoy transitional spring weather when the remnants of winter are washed away. Just the anticipation of flowers blooming to erase the grayness of the end of winter is worth the rain. However, in these extreme weather patterns that we are experiencing this year, spring is not quite here to stay. In the meantime, eat sheperd’s pie.
The first time I heard of this dish, I wondered what it was. Originally, this contained either lamb or mutton. Some countries like England may call this cottage pie. There are so many variations on this with ground chicken or beef and different root vegetables. Instead of mashed white potatoes, it could be sweet potatoes or even a combination of celery root and potatoes.
1 T oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 lb ground meat
1 cup broth
1 T tomato paste
1 t. chopped fresh rosemary or dried
1 T chopped parsley or dried
1 cup frozen peas or corn
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
kosher salt to taste
5 T unsalted butter
1 cup grated cheese
1.Preheat your oven to 375.
2.In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil, add the meat and the carrots. Fry till browned. Drain the fat.
3.Add the broth,paste and herb seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 min till thickened. Add the corn or peas.
4.Pour this mixture into a large baking dish. Set aside.
5.Boil the potatoes in a large pot. When tender, drain and mash with the butter,milk and salt.
6.Spread the potatoes over the meat,
7.Scatter the grated cheese over the top and bake for 35 min.
Note: if you prefer no cheese, just fluff up the potatoes and bake.
Adapted from epicurious.com