Friday, March 25, 2011

Fabulous Friday Food - Shepherd's Pie

Happy Friday! If you're new around here, I should probably clue you in to something . . . I love to cook. And most Fridays (I won't say "every" Friday because that just doesn't happen for some reason) I will give you a recipe. Usually it's something I've made that week, but it's always something my family loves. And approves.

This week things have turned a little colder. Drat! We thought we were coming out of the dreaded, dreary, Chicago winter, but it seems that winter wants to take one last whack at us over the next few days.

You know what I say to winter?

Bring it!

Because I'm not going to deal with you any more. It's Spring Break for my kids, so we are outta here!

Still, for those of you suffering with colder-than-usual temperatures, here's a cold-weather comfort food type of recipe for you that I've been making for years. Julia requested it a couple of weeks ago, so I thought this would be a good time to share it with you.

And what do you know? The weather cooperated.

(Sorry about that.)

Now, one more thing. I just met a new bloggy friend this week whom I already love. She is sweet. She is sincere. She and I, I can tell, have a lot in common, not the least is that she lives in a market town (a market town!) about 12 miles outside of Oxford, England. Which is where I fell in love with that country.

So, Sarah, if you're reading this, forgive me. This is probably an Americanized version of the Shepherd's Pie you grew up with. Shepherd's Pie in England is so much better, but we do what we can over here. We're Cretans, we are. I hope we can still be friends.

Without further adeiu . . . Shepherd's Pie.

First, you'll need some mashed potatoes. For Heaven's sake, boil up some water and plunk down the potatoes. Make the mashed potatoes for REAL. None of that boxed stuff. Ugh.

You'll need about 4 cups of REAL mashed potatoes.

Next, the best start to some of my favorite recipes. Ground beef and onions. What could be better?

Well, O.K., maybe ground beef and onions and WINE because, well, wine makes everything better. But I have never tried it with ground beef and onions. I'm not about to start now, so skip the wine this time.

But just this once.

Brown it all up and drain off the yucky stuff. Gross. And give it a good dose of salt and pepper.

Then add 1 cup of beef broth.

And a couple cups of frozen peas and carrots. Don't be too picky about the measurements--this is comfort food, not precise, picky food.

Bring all that to a simmer. Put a lid on it and forget about it for about five minutes.

While that's simmering away (and your potatoes are cooking for your REAL mashed potatoes), make a slurry of flour and worchestershire sauce. A couple tablespoons of each will do just fine. Or more, if you're like me and like a little more sauce.

Pour that over the meat and vegetables and let that simmer for a few minutes. Taste it to make sure you have enough salt and pepper.

Place it in a pretty baking dish . . .

. . . and top it with REAL mashed potatoes.

Bake it at 450 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes.

When it's done, it will be browned and bubbly.

You'll be so tempted to dig right in, but don't do that yet or you'll burn your mouth. Just trust me on this one.

So there you have it, easy-peasy Shepherd's Pie. For when winter just won't go down without a fight.

Now tell me, what do you like to eat when you need some comfort? Or when winter rears its ugly head?

This post is being linked to Food on Fridays and Finer Things Friday.


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  1. looks divine! I learned something new, plating our garden last weekend. Peas and carrots are pared together to eat - because they are companion plants...there's your daily tidbit. Or maybe you already knew that!

  2. Well, Lib, aren't you so full of fun facts?! Thanks for that! (And congrats on winning the book at Robin's!)