These days most of my desire to cook revolves around cooking for my daughter and her family, and for my sons Danny and Benji. My daughter had gone to Whole Foods and she and her family had eaten the shepherd’s pie from the hot food bar. She told me it was the best thing she’d ever eaten and that I had to make it for her family. I found a recipe on the Food Network site which looked pretty good. I made it last week, and everybody loved it, but my daughter said it still wasn’t quite as good as Whole Food’s. So I made it again this week, and basically added a little more seasoning. This time, my daughter said it was just as good as Whole Food’s version. And my son Danny went totally crazy for it. Yesterday, watching my two grandsons eating this and loving it was so gratifying. I was “kvelling” from their reaction!
adapted from Food Network “Mummy Boome’s Traditional Shepherd Pie”
- 2 3/4 lb. 85% chopped meat (I used Nature’s Promise or Whole Food’s grass fed beef)
- 5 organic carrots, small dice
- 3 organic celery stalks, small dice
- 1 large onion, small dice
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
- almost all of a small can of organic tomato paste
- 1/2 cup organic beef broth or stock
- 3 tablespoons organic worcesteshire sauce (Annie’s)
- 2-3 cups organic frozen peas
mashed potatoes topping:
- 5 lbs. organic russet, idaho, or yukon gold potatoes
- 1 1/2 to 2 sticks organic salted butter
- about 1/2 cup organic whole milk
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pour a few tablespoons of organic olive oil (you can find organic extra virgin olive oil at Costco) in large sauté pan. Add salt and pepper. Sauté onion, carrot, celery till soft and just starting to brown. Add garlic, and sauté a few minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix in. Add the meat, salt and pepper, and break up with fork as you brown. Add the worcesteshire sauce and the beef broth. Mix and add the peas. Taste for seasoning. Transfer meat mixture to large baking dish- at least a 9 x 13 (I have one which is a little larger). Refrigerate.
Make your mashed potatoes. I peel 5 lbs. and cut them into medium pieces, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil over medium heat until soft. Drain in colander and then put back in pot over low flame for a minute to get rid of excess water in potatoes. Turn flame off. Add butter, kosher salt, and a little fresh cracked pepper. Mash, and start adding the whole milk until nice and fluffy.
Spoon the potatoes over the top of the meat. You should have a hefty amount of potatoes topping the meat. Refrigerate until dinner time. Then preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 35-45 min. until hot.
Note: If you are not baking this right away, and you don’t have time to make the mashed potatoes right away, refrigerate the meat mixture until you have your mashed potatoes. I have refrigerated this for up to a day before I made the potatoes. When I make the potatoes, I let them cool to warm and then I put them on top of the meat (which is cold from being in the fridge). Then I put the dish back in the fridge till I’m ready to bake it. If you are baking it right away, then just it won’t matter if the potatoes are still hot when you put them on the meat.