Friday, March 27, 2009

Shepperd's Pie

This is an old favourite of mine and will probably be retired until the fall after tonight's dinner. It's one of those comfort foods that we all like during the colder months. Relatively inexpensive to make yet very tasty and simple. In our high school cafetaria, they used to make a delicious shepperd's pie - at least I thought so. One day, years later, I bought a cookbook from fundraiser where an organization have people contribute their favourite recipe and they print and bind the book. These types of cookbooks are very worthwhile to look at since they contain recipes that are favourites to the submitter and probably tasty and simple. I've participated in a few myself usually submitting my Easy Banana Bread recipe.

This recipe is adapted from the Second Harvest Cookbook (about 15 years ago). I no longer can find the book, so I can't tell you exactly how I originally learned to make this. Today, I make it to-taste without a recipe, in huge batches since it is loved by all and it freezes well. This can be baked straight from the freezer, or defrosted in the fridge overnight, making it very convenient for those with tight schedules.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium cooking onion, chopped
3 cups of frozen vegetables
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup flour (or more for gravy/sauce)
1 cup beef broth
6 medium russett potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed (see directions below)
1 egg
3 tbsp. margarine
1 cup milk

Heat large skillet. Add ground beef and chopped onion until beef is cooked through. Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir until combined. Stir in beef broth. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine and bring to a slight boil. Add more water or flour if needed to reach the consistency you want. This will make the mixture a gravy within the pie. Add vegetables and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.

In a separate pot, cook cut up potatoes until done. Drain and make a mash potatoes by adding milk and margarine. Crack egg into separate bowl and lightly beat. Pour half of the beaten egg into the mash potato. Reserve other half for top to help brown. NO SALT. The meat combo will balance it out.

Turn beef mixture into a 9 x 13 inch roasting pan and top with mash potatoes, spreading evenly over meat mixture. Pour the remaining egg on potatoes and spread evenly again. Bake at 375 for approximately 30 - 40 minutes, or until browned.

**TIP**To prevent freezer burn, wrap with plastic wrap and try to squeeze out as much air as possible before covering with tin foil.

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