For those of you that live in/around the DC area know what the weather has been like the past few days. Given this cold/icy weather, I was craving some comfort food but my groceries were pretty limited. I didn't feel like driving out so decided to get creative.
Shepherds Pie is something pretty comforting in the winter because it is filling, full flavored and appealing because of the mashed potatoes on top. Traditionally, it is made with ground beef but I only had beef stew meat in the freezer. I decided to use that and process later to break down before baking the dish. I don't usually measure ingredients, I tend to eyeball them which is why I'm going to list out "about" (~) how much of each ingredient I used. You may need to adjust this to your personal taste...
~1-2 tbsp oil
~1lb beef stew chunks
1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
few whole black peppercorns
~1 cup chicken stock (or beef stock)
3-4 medium sized potatoes
salt to taste
~3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1tsp Soy Sauce (optional)
~1.5 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, etc)
~3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
Peel and dice the potatoes, place in a medium pan with water and a dash of salt, boil until tender. Drain and keep to the side. While the potatoes are boiling, in another medium pot add some oil and heat over medium. When the oil is warm, add the onions and saute until they start to turn light brown. Add the garlic, pepper and bay leaf and mix. After 20 sec or so add the meat, chicken stock and Worcestershire Sauce. Cook until the beef is tender and the liquid reduces by 1/2... about 25 to 30min. Remove from heat, place the beef (removing the peppercorns and bay leaf) in a food processor. Reserve the liquid and use the same pot (adding a dash of oil) to saute the vegetables with soy sauce (if you want). Pulse the beef on your processors chop setting to shred the meat, do not over process. Add the beef and reserved liquid to the vegetables when they are cooked. Add the mushrooms and simmer the mix until liquid is almost dry. There should be about 1.5 to 2tbsp liquid remaining. You want to keep some liquid so that the beef doesn't get too dry when baking.
Mash the potatoes with some butter and milk (just like mashed potatoes). Season with some salt and chicken stock (if you want). In a small casserole dish layer the beef mix and then top with the mashed potatoes. Bake for 25min on 350 degrees. Make sure the mashed potatoes have enough liquid that they don't get too dry during baking. Let sit for 5min before serving.
Sorry, I forgot to take a picture until we had finished dinner and there was hardly a spoonful left. Will try to remember next time! As always, I leave you with wishes for happy cooking and good eats :)