Can’t get all excited about it, but…

September 8, 2011

Forgot to take a pic until he'd decimated it, so you get the "after" shot.

There’s nothing WRONG with a shepherd’s pie. I mean, it’s a perfectly acceptable vehicle for a one-dish dinner combining protein, carbs and veggies.

I just can’t get all worked up over it.

However, NS can get seriously worked up about shepherd’s pie, so I attempt to make it for him every once in a while. My first time was a dismal failure. I put too many peas, and it was too salty, and I forgot what all else I did wrong, but he is Not A Bit Shy about telling me. You can tell he was not reared by a Proper Southern Mama who would have taught him to lie and say it was the best thing he ever ate, as long as it wasn’t putrid enough it made him barf.

Sigh. I acquired him too late. But I digress.

He’d mentioned a while back we hadn’t had shepherd’s pie in a while. So I put a package of ground beef in the fridge to thaw a day or so ago, and fate and circumstances interfered between then and now, and it needed using. So — shepherd’s pie.

  • 1 small onion, minced fine
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced/chopped/whatever
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1-2 tbsp flour
  • splash of red wine
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, about
  • Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 medium potatos
  • Butter, cream, salt to taste

Peel the potatos and put them on to boil in salted water. Boil until tender, add butter and cream, and mash. Set aside.

In a big skillet, saute the minced onion; add the carrots and the garlic. When the garlic gets fragrant and the onion gets soft, add the ground beef; break it up and brown it nicely. Sprinkle the flour over the skillet, and stir that in; add the peas, the splash of red wine, the Worcestershire, and about half a cup of water. Simmer until the carrots are tender and the sauce has thickened up a bit. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the ground beef mixture into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Spread the mashed potatos on top, or if you are feeling creative, pipe them on top in a cute design.  Run the pie into a 375 degree oven for about 20-30  minutes, until potatos are browned on top.

(Note: having started indexing recipes, I notice I used to be a lot better about listing ingredients in actual recipe format. Lately, it’s just been kinda narrative. I’m trying to do better.)

Now, me, the first thing I’d do would be add some cheese to those potatos. I mean, that recipe calls for cheese. Cheese would possibly lift it out of the realm of the plumb damn ordinary. But NS contends that one does NOT put cheese in the potatos on a shepherd’s pie, and who am I to argue?

Anyway, he ate it, and said it was pretty good, which is the NS equivalent of four stars in the Michelin guide.

So, we have had shepherd’s pie, and I reckon it’ll stand between us and starvation. One cannot cook one’s way into transports of ecstasy every night, I don’t guess.

I do wish I had a deviled egg, though. Or a big bowl of potato salad. Either of those would trip my comfort food switch tonight. But, alas, ’tis not to be.

So you and y’mama ‘n ’em will have to make do with shepherd’s pie, and I’ll give it up and go to bed culinarily unfulfilled.

Maybe I’ll have another glass of wine.

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One Response to “Can’t get all excited about it, but…”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    Now, me, the first thing I’d do would be add some cheese to those potatos. I mean, that recipe calls for cheese. Cheese would possibly lift it out of the realm of the plumb damn ordinary. But NS contends that one does NOT put cheese in the potatos on a shepherd’s pie, and who am I to argue?

    He needs to learn that everything is better with cheese. Ok, maybe not Coca-Cola (Have I told you the “Cheese Coke” story? Surely I have, considering how long we’ve known one another), but pretty damn much near everything. 🙂


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