Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shepherds Pie

There are some people in my family won't eat certain foods as left overs.  It makes me a bit crazy sometimes.  Whether it is because it changes the taste or consistency they are very picky about what they will eat a second time around.  This dish is definitely NOT one of those. Ground meat and vegetables in it's own gravy all topped by mashed potatoes and a touch of Parmesan cheese and pepper.  This only gets better the next day.

The mashed potatoes used in this dish can be freshly mashed or from a box, the choice is yours.  I like to make an extra large amount of mashed potatoes for dinner on the weekend and then have plenty of left overs to use for this dish a few days later.  

Making these in individual ramekins just makes this fun for my family but it is also easily done in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Shepherds Pie

6 cups prepared mashed potatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground pork
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 3/4 cups beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcester sauce
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet heat the oil and saute the onion until it is soft.  Add the beef and pork to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Cook the until the meats are cooked through and the juices run clear, breaking up the meats and stirring often. Add the broth, Worcester sauce and flour to the meat mixture and cook over medium heat until broth thickens slightly.  Stir in the thawed vegetables.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if needed.  

Pour meat and vegetable mixture into the bottom of a casserole dish or divide evenly between ramekins (I use a dozen 10 ounce ramekins). Top with mashed potatoes, pushing potatoes to the edge of your baking dish or ramekins, sealing in the meat and vegetable mixture beneath it.  Top with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a dash or two of freshly ground pepper if desired.  Bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden.  If baking in ramekins I find it best to place them on a cookie sheet and bakeg them on the cookie sheet.  Doing this makes it easier to move them in and out of the oven and avoids having to clean the bottom of the oven should some of them bubble over a little.   

Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

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