Weekend Cooking: Not much of a cook, but…

For those that now me really well, you will know that I am not much of a cook.  True I will spend most of my time avoiding anything that resembles work that I don't like doing.  But because of an elimination diet that my doctor has had me on, I have had to avoid most of the food that I like eating (mainly quick and easy and not requiring much effort and ready within 10-15 min) and concentrate on eating things that are more natural and not as processed (I should be doing this anyways, but I am lazy) and when one lives on their own there isn't much incentive to make food that takes longer to make mainly due to the fact that sometimes you get way more leftovers than you want.  So the last two weeks have been an interesting adventure in cooking to say the least.  There have been overcooked chicken and brussel sprouts and asparagus that were very soft (yuck; like them a little harder, don't like mush so much).

Anyways to introduce a little variety in my diet and because my doctor said it was ok, I made a Shepherd's Pie (for Brits and Aussies, it would be called Cottage Pie) and it turned out pretty good.
I halved the recipe and I still ended up with quite a bit and yes, I made the mashed potatoes from actual potatoes and not from a prepackaged mix (I saw one in the grocery store the other day and I couldn't believe how expensive it was for the mix; as I left, I thought its so much cheaper to actually make your one instead buying a mix).  While it took me longer to make the dish before I put it in the oven, it was really good and it smelled really good as well.

I got the recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook:
Shepherd's Pie is one of those dishes that can be prepared ahead of time with a little planning, assembled and served later in the week when you have a busy day. I will make extra potatoes one day to make the mashed potatoes for this dish. Also another tip if you are pressed for time, is to brown ground beef a head of time, and freeze in the amount you need to be ready for days when you are busy with other things.

  • half a 5 lb bag of potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup old cheddar cheese (any cheese if fine)
  • I add onion or garlic powder to taste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 lbs of lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 796 ml / 19 oz can tomatoes diced, drained (save the liquid for hospitality soup)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3/4 cup of fine bread crumbs or quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup of frozen peas (use corn or any other frozen vegetable of you preference)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  1. Cook and mash the potatoes with all the ingredients.
  2. Saute onions, garlic with the ground beef until the beef is brown.
  3. Drain any fat.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the meat, and add the milk.
  5. Bring to a boil and cook while adding the drained tomatoes.
  6. Cook a few minutes til the mixture thickens up.
  7. Add the bread crumbs or oatmeal, and the peas.
  8. Put the meat into a greased casserole dish or 9x13 pan.
  9. Top with the mashed potatoes, sprinkle with the paprika.
  10. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 400 degree or until the potatoes get lightly browned.
They suggest serving it with a salad and a ice-cream parfait.  You can find a direct link to the recipe here: http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2011/02/shepherds-pie.html

I made it Monday and even though I realize I didn't do it over the weekend, I thought I would share it with you anyways.

This is being shared over at Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking, which is open to anybody who has a food related post to share (novels, nonfiction, cookbook, movie reviews, recipes, quotes, random thoughts, etc.)


Beth F said…
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I brown ground beef ahead of time and freeze it in portion sizes. It's a real time saver.

This version of shepherd's pie sound so good. Cooking from scratch is way cheaper and usually tastes better too.
Melissa said…
Thank you for the tip about the ground beef. I will do that for next time.

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