I really enjoy cooking dinner. Like I've said in the past, I enjoy cooking, even though I'm not the greatest cook by any means. I can't make rice to save my life, I either burn it or I under-cook it. I always leave that up to Adrian .. he makes a good rice ;) But I'm good at other things ... like making dishes that use up all the random ingredients and left overs that are scattered throughout my kitchen. One dish I'm particularly proud of is a shepherd's pie that I first made months ago, using ground pork. This time I used ground beef and it was just as amazing =)
I really love making this meal, as you can throw pretty much anything in it, and it will always taste awesome! (And by 'pretty much anything',I mean veggies, macaroni noodles, spices ... not peanut butter or chocolate chips :P). I also love this dish because it's SOOO easy to make. I'm sure everyone has their own way of making a dish like this, but here's how I made this one.
-one package of ground meat (I used extra lean beef)
-about 6 medium sized potatoes
-any veggies you feel like tossing in (I used: onion, green pepper, red pepper, celery, peas, carrots, black olives, banana peppers and some left over homemade french fries I made the night before ... chopped up into small bits)
-any seasoning you like to use (I used: taco seasoning, salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder)
-gravy or any sauce you want to add as a topping (I used cheese soup)
-butter or milk for whipping the potatoes (I loooove to use butter and cream cheese - soooo good!!!)
What You Do:
-preheat oven to about 350F
-Peel and cut your potatoes into mash-able sizes. Then add them to a pot of cold water with a little salt. (Whenever I make boiled potatoes I always add peas and onions ..it's like a weird obsession I have!). Bring to boil.
-At the same time as you add your potatoes to the stove, toss your meat into a frying pan and get it going.
-Cut up your veggies. I prefer to use frozen veggies so I do this step first so they get some time to thaw first.
-When the meat is beginning to brown but still a little red, I add the veggies. I don't know how other people do it, but I like my veggies to be soft. When all the red is gone from the meat, I add the spices.
-Once the meat is cooked and the potatoes are boiled, remove meat from heat and drain potatoes. You'll want to let everything cool for a few minutes - I'd say about 5-10 minutes ... or however long it takes to preheat your oven.
-Whip the potatoes in a bowl, using your choice of milk, butter, cheese etc.
-Get your baking dish and pour the meat mixture into the bottom - I like to use a small square one so the pie is more hearty!
-spread the whipped potatoes on to the top of the meat
-bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the potato topping is baked to your desire.
-Wait a few minutes before serving or everyone will have burned mouths!!
-add your gravy or sauce
-ENJOY IT! Make sure you say MMMMMMMM after every bite, totally makes it taste better ;)
I'd love to know what you all do differently when you make shepherd's pie!!
A special thanks to my wonderful fiancé who took the photos, even though all he wanted to do was eat the subject ;)
Thanks for reading =)