Shepherd’s Pie

For those of you who know me personally – i.e. well enough to be friends on Facebook – you will know that I enjoyed my first quarterly safety meeting at my new workplace last week. We got to watch an 80’s era VHS video on workplace back safety, and then actually do back exercises together. And I admit to poking a little fun. Just a bit.

But I left the meeting with my back feeling a bit tweaked. And then I cemented the deal by doing an awesome but exhausting guided walk in Los Angeles over the weekend (more on that later). And today my back is straight-up killing me. As in it hurts to cough. I may be the only person in the history of the universe to have thrown out their back by watching a video on how not to throw out your back. Clearly, I am some sort of crazy genius.

Despite this, I made dinner. I do actually know that this isn’t technically shepherd’s pie because it does not use ground lamb. But I don’t know what else to call it. When I covered their portions with extra cheese, the kids almost ate some of it. It hit somewhere between “below average” and “total failure” on the kid scale, but there is absolutely no good reason why this should not work, so I will be trying it again.

  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1.5 lbs ground meat (I mixed beef and turkey)
  • 1 onion, chopped smallish
  • 3 – 4 carrots, chopped smallish
  • 1 stick of butter
  • peas, thawed
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1.5 C grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Start the potatoes boiling. In a large pan, melt 2 Tbs butter over medium heat and add the onion. Cook 3 – 4 mins, then add carrot and cook another 5 mins more until the vegetables have started to caramelize. Set them aside in a separate bowl. Brown ground meat. Add the wine and the tomato paste and the cooked vegetables, along with the garlic and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the peas at the very end.

Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and mash with a healthy dose of salt and pepper, at least 4 Tbs butter, and whatever else you like to use to make good mashed potatoes. Put the meat mix into a casserole dish (I used a 9×9 with high sides, but 6×11 is also good. Sprinkle cheese over the top, then spread mashed potatoes over the cheese. Bake 30 mins.


About christianathomas

I'm a working mother of two trying to make eating well fit into our hectic lives. I also used to own a completely chaotic bakery. Follow me for tips and tricks on how to get more whole foods into your diet.
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