Tag Archives: beef

No, not Shep Pie….Shepherd’s Pie! Shep-HERD!


I love shepherd’s pie!  Absolutely love it!

Many recipes I have found call for a variety of ground meat but I have always enjoyed a shepherd’s pie made with plain ground beef.  I also have to admit that I cheat and use  *gasp* boxed potatoes!

Yes, I agree that actual potatoes, boiled and mashed, would be beyond delicious…so no need to convince me of that.  But time constraints tend to push me towards the boxed potato aisle in the grocery store.

I made two pies the other day. They were yummy the day of… awesome the day after…I have some frozen servings and I can only imagine how spectacular they’ll be!

Okay, so how did I make this yummy creation?  Read on to share in my shepherd’s pie adventure.

Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

It all started with butter and onions……Fried until soft and transparent.

Then I added the ground beef…which I cooked about halfway before adding the veggies.  As I’m sure you can tell by the pictures, I simply used frozen mixed vegetables.

Okay, so, slight tangent for a minute.  In deciding to make shepherd’s pie, I realized that I needed to pick up some ingredients I was lacking…namely, ground beef.  Over two days, I hit two different grocery stores to find no ground beef…none.  No idea what the heck was going on…beef strike?  beef holiday?  All I know is, upon visiting the third grocery store, I had to buy my ground beef in a tube!

A TUBE!

Not a foam tray in sight.

I’m not judging people who generally buy this beef (note: not necessarily *this* beef in the picture above…I can’t remember the brand I bought).  It was definitely cheaper than the foam tray-ed, cling-wrapped beef and it tasted great.  But it was the tube squeezing that got to me.

I’m not a fan of squashing my beef out of a plastic tube…next thing you know, they’ll have squeeze chicken and squeeze bacon-…..
Gah!

Okay, let’s forget the whole squeezing the meat thing and move on, shall we?  (And YOU!  Yeah you!  Get your mind out of the gutter! lol)


So, beef and veggies…right.  So, I cooked the beef until totally brown and as I said, about halfway through the cooking process,  I added the frozen veggies.  I kept the meat on a medium heat which extended the cooking time…but that also allowed me to add spices to the mix and gave time for their flavour to spread throughout the dish.

Since the beef cooked for a little longer than normal, I also had about 3/4 cup of beef stock on hand and would add a splash when the mixture seemed to be getting a little dry.

As it neared readiness, I made my potatoes.  Instructions?  On the box! 😛  All I will add is that I always use butter instead of margarine.  Usually they always also require some milk.  This time around, all I had on hand was almond milk, which worked out fine.

Once everything was ready, I placed the beef/veg mixture in the bottom of two casserole dishes…it ended up being about one and a half inches deep.  Topped that off with the potatoes and then placed them in the oven.

I kept the potatoes rough on top with little peaks so that they would brown…and voila….

…yummy shepherd’s pie goodness!

In hindsight, I probably would’ve made a bit more potato…but still…..yum!


RECIPE

  • 11/2 to 2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables – chopped carrots, corn, peas
  • 2 packs of garlic boxed potatoes
  • butter (to sauté onions)
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • Desired spices: I have used Worcestershire sauce, soya sauce, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, oregano, dried chili flakes, hot sauce etc…though not all at the same time! Season to taste.

1. Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins).

2. Add ground beef and sauté over medium heat.

3. Halfway through cooking the beef, add the vegetables. Continue cooking until beef is no longer pink.

4. Add desired seasoning.

5. Add beef broth as needed to keep moist and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes.

6. Boxed potatoes don’t take much time so at this point I put on the milk/butter/water (depending on the box instructions), bring it to a boil and get the potatoes ready. (I recently only had almond milk on hand and it worked out quite well!)

7. Place beef mixture in casserole dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely.

8. Cook in 400 degree oven until potatoes start to brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown further.

Servings: This recipe made two 8-inch round casserole dishes of shepherd’s pie.

***Original Recipe from http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/easy_shepherds_pie/

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Pounding the Beef – Making my first Meatloaf


Want the recipe for this creation?  (Seriously…it’s quite yummy!  Don’t let the picture scare you! hehe)

Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

This was my first time making meatloaf and I had visions in my head of my mother’s meatloaf: light, fluffy (yes, fluffy!), with a shiny coating of cooked ketchup on top.

Instead, a little over an hour later,  I wound up with this:

A greasy looking log in front of me that tasted pretty good but looked like something you don’t discuss over the dinner table.  Or as a friend put it, something you find stuck to your shoe.

It began quite well…

And I decided to try baking a loaf as well as meatballs in a muffin tin that I could freeze for future meals:

But again, it ended up like this:

I think my first problem was that I chose lean ground beef instead of extra lean.  The amount of grease that filled the pan, as well as gathered in the craters along the top was significant.  So much so that I used paper towel to soak up some of it.

The second problem was that I packed it into the pan; really jammed it in there.  My boyfriend put it best when he suggested that I “don’t stand on it next time…just lightly pat it into shape”.

Due to my overly enthusiastic pounding of the beef, the meatloaf turned out quite dense and dry and only about an inch and a half high (go figure, it doesn’t rise like bread!), albeit it was still tasty.


RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 2lbs ground beef
  • garlic powder
  • Lipton onion soup mix 1 packet
  • 1 egg
  • Ketchup or bbq sauce
  • Bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mush it all up.

Add bread crumbs vs sauce until you achieve a sticky consistency.  (The way I decided this?  When I rolled the meat mush into a ball and it stayed, it was ready.)

Place in a small loaf pan or roll into balls 1-2″ in diameter and cook them in muffin tins.

Cook 30-40 minutes  (loaf – 60 min)


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