Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cheddar Topped Shepherd's Pie

The mere anticipation of a big ice storm sent me into my kitchen for lots of cooking and baking today. So far, no ice yet, but the chilly temperatures and gray skies were the perfect motivation for our dinner this evening. Up until now, I have never eaten or made a shepherd's pie. After trying this one from Everyday Food, I wish I had tried one sooner! This is the perfect comfort food for a bitter cold day. This dish be made ahead and then baked at dinner time. This will definitely be one of my cold weather staples. I made a few changes to the recipe as noted below.

Previous Cold Weather Favorites:
Slow Cooked Tex Mex Chicken and Beans
Spicy Chili
Chicken Andouille Gumbo
Poblano Chicken Chowder

Cheddar Topped Shepherd's Pie

Serves 8

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, and thinly sliced
  • 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced (omitted)
  • 2/3 cup of frozen peas added
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (6 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 1 inch with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.
  3. Drain potatoes; return to pan. Cook over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add milk and 1 cup cheese. Mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes (if topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Both filling and topping can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated separately.

Source: Everyday Food


Joelen said...

My husband has asked about shepards pie... I'll need to make this soon because it looks delicious!

Colleen said...

I have made this too and we loved it! (No surprise though, recipe twin!)