Shepherd Boy’s Casserole

Okay, it’s Shepherd’s pie. No biggie.

And frankly, I always kind of turned up my nose at it, honestly as being a bit too rustic and “common”.

I was wrong. This recipe rocks.

It is truly comfort food of the first order.

And all you have to do is remember the next time you are making mashed potatoes–make double.

The rest is child’s play.

But even made from scratch, it’s quick so do try it. This recipe is adapted from Juanita’s Cochina.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Enough potatoes to cover your casserole dish (probably about 4-5 lg) peeled, diced and cooked just to done, and drained.
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, as lean as you can afford
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 c beef stock (I try to get salt free whenever possible)
  • 1/2 lg onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 zucchini, or use chopped celery, parsnips, green beans, etc. About 2 cups in total of whatever veggies you have on hand
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 oz havarti or other cheese of your choice.

FOR THE GRAVY

  • 1/2 lg onion, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 c red wine (a nice dry red is best)
  • 1-2 c beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a large skillet, add one tbsp each of oil and butter and brown the beef with Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the tomato paste and blend in. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasonings if necessary and then remove to a bowl.
  4. In the skillet , add another tbsp each of oil and butter and saute the onions and other vegetables until just tender. Add the paprika.
  5. Using a 9 x 12 casserole, layer half the meat, and then sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Then the rest of the meat and then all the veggies.
  6. Add 3 tbsp or so of the butter to the pot of potatoes, mash, add the cream and mash until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spread the potatoes onto the casserole.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until edges are browned and bubbling.
  9. For the Gravy: Saute the onions and mushrooms in the oil until tender. Add flour and whisk until the flour is cooked. Add the red wine, whisking until it starts to bubble and thicken. Add as much beef broth as you need to reach the consistency you desire.
  10. Serve over the pie when dished.

Serves: 6 generously

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