You know...it's unfortunate that I didn't grow up on this incredibly tasty dish. I had heard "of" it but had no idea what it was really all about. I'm not even sure exactly what caused me to look into it, but I did.
And I'm glad!
It must've been about 5 years ago or more. I searched the web and found several recipes. I did print one recipe out and made so many changes and side notes that I re-wrote the whole recipe on the bottom half of the paper.
It's been a huge hit and a family favorite ever since. You should hear the phones ringing when word gets out that Shepherds Pie is on the menu! It's amazing how many teens I adopt on those nights. LOL
It can be a bit of a long process but it's very easy....and sooooo worth it!
Start off by making a big batch of mashed potatoes....any way you like them. Use about 8 decent sized potatoes.
If you look reeeeeal close, you'll notice that I tossed in a few cloves of garlic in there.
Add your favorite stuff....milk and / or cream, butter, salt and pepper etc., mash 'em up, set them aside and keep 'em warm.
For the rest...you'll need....
3 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 tablspoons butter
2 celery sticks, sliced
1 large onion diced (about a cup or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
a few dashes of Maggi Seasoning or Bouquet Sauce
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 cups mixed veggies, cooked
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese (or to taste)
Saute the onions, celery and garlic until tender
Meanwhile, get your veggies cooking
Add the ground beef to the onion mixture and cook until brown
Theeeeeeen.....add your tomato paste, sugar, worcestershire sauce, beef broth, salt and pepper, and the rest of the seasonings....
Mix all that together real good and then toss in your veggies...
Ok...we're almost done....:)
Mix everything really well, then cover and cook for about 15 - 20 minutes over low heat. Remove the lid and continue cooking until liquid reduces. You don't want it to be soupy at all.
You'll probably want to preheat your oven to 350' F while this is going on.
Put the meat mixture into a 13 x 9 casserole dish. Now it's time to get out those mashed potatoes you mixed up earlier. Top the meat mixture with the potatoes. Just blob it on with a spoon in various parts and gently distribute.
You can't really "spread" the potatoes around cuz the meat mixture will start pulling around with the potatoes and get....I dunno....ugly?
Now take all that cheese you shredded and sprinkle that, liberally, over the potatoes.
Cook for 25 - 30 minutes. You might want to put a cookie sheet under it in case some grease over flows....depending on the fat content of your beef and also from the cheese.
When you take it out of the oven, if there is fat floating around the edges a little, you can absorb it carefully with some paper towel (careful not to let the melted cheese attach itself to the paper towels LOL...been there, done that). Or you can gently tilt the dish and let it drain off.
Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then serve!!
Don't you just love the Scottish?