“Where’d you get the shepherd?” – My boyfriend Kevin
“This looks so bad but it tastes so good!” – My Kids
Cooking has been challenging to say the least being at the mercy of what is available at the grocery store and my own pantry. I never know what will be out of stock next at the grocery store. I was shocked to see that hot dogs and sausages were totally wiped out with a sign that said people could only purchase one. Hot dogs? Is that because they will last until the end of time? That is all I can think of. Anyway, as a result I have tried to buy things that will last and that I can stretch through the week. I fondly refer to this time as the The Great Casserole Comeback. Oh what I can do with a roast chicken, rice, carrots, potatoes, 5 pounds of ground beef……endless possibilities! My kids look scared to death when they see a 9×13 dish come out of the oven.
Well, much to their chagrin they loved my shepherd’s pie. They ate it all. Only one little bit left for lunch the next day. It’s not pretty…nooooooo it’s not. But what it lacks in presentation it more than makes up for in taste. And that is why I share it with you here today. The best part…..it’s healthy and very easy to make from scratch. Use the vegetables you have and don’t worry if you’re missing any. Don’t have fresh veggies but plenty of frozen? Throw them in! It calls for mushrooms but they were sold out like the hot dogs. My kids were thrilled. Don’t eat meat or it’s not stocked? Leave it out – the gravy is so good with the vegetables and mashed potatoes alone. You can make it with ground beef or turkey.
Recipe is as follows – it’s easier than it looks!
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
1 tsp thyme
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onion
1 cup quartered mushrooms
1 cup diced celery
1 cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon, plus ¾ tablespoon all purpose flour
½ cup low sodium beef broth
3-4 chopped, cooked, mashed potatoes
½ cup milk – low fat
1 tablespoon butter
1 -2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Brown beef in a large skillet and drain when done. Wipe the skillet clean. Return beef to skillet and stir in 1 cup broth, pepper, salt, bay leaves, cloves and thyme. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
While that cooks chop the potatoes and cover in a pan with cold water. Boil the potatoes until tender for 10-12 minutes. Drain in a colander and return to pan. Add butter, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. I have been known to add a spoonful of sour cream. Mash or mix until fluffy in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Add carrots, onions, mushrooms, celery and corn to the skillet with the beef. Add 1/2 cup or so of more broth if it’s low to cook the veggies. Simmer and cook covered for 7 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Preheat oven to 375. Put flour in a small bowl and slowly whisk in broth. Stir until smooth and blended. Add to beef mixture. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until slightly thickened. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased casserole dish. Spread the mashed potatoes on top and cover with mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.
I hope your family loves it! I find that cooking for family is psychologically and spiritually nourishing. Food is love!
Proof that my kids loved it: