Monday, March 11, 2013

Shepherd's Pie Kid Style :D

Shepherd's Pie!
   I have a thing for tater tots. It's not a secret and frankly it's no small "thing". If you can add tater tots to something I probably have and I will choose them over french fries pretty much any day of the week (except for Arby's curly fries cause let's face it...they're addicting and a-MAZ-ing!) So all that to say this Shepherd's Pie has an awesome kid loving layer of them on top just toasting away :)
    So for starters this is not a difficult recipe it will just seem like it is due to the several steps. Please don't be scared. Just dive in!

Mashed Potatoes
    3-4 large Idaho potatoes, peeled or 4-5 small red potatoes, washed but unpeeled
   2 Tbls 2% milk
   2 Tbls butter
   Salt and Pepper to taste

Meat and Veggies
    1/2 lb lean ground beef (or turkey, sausage, chicken, your choice)
    1 can green peas
    1 can corn
    1 Tbls flour
   2 Tbls 2% milk
   1/4 Cheddar Cheese, shredded
   salt and pepper to taste
   the usual spices  (check Picky Eaters Approved to see)
        Garlic, Onion, Italian
    Cheddar Cheese, shredded
    Tater Tots

Items needed:
   A large boiling pot (for the potatoes) - 5qt at least
   A large skillet (10 inch) or a 2 qt pot (for the veggies)
   Hand Mixer
   A Pie Plate

Side Note: Those who know me know I love love love all things Pampered Chef and all things old school. I would recommend spending a little more on some quality cooking and baking pieces that will last for years over saving money in the short run. It's my one true splurge area so most of the pictures you will see will feature Pampered Chef or Cast Iron. If you want to save money but still be able to buy from certain companies than message me and I will let you in on the secrets and sites that I love and used for all my stuff!

Now to the recipe!

   Wash and quarter your potatoes, peel first if they are Idaho, and place in your large pot. Cover with water and add salt. This is one area you can add flavor without adding calories so salt the water with a good Tbls of salt. Place on the burner and turn on high. Cover and heat to boiling. You want to boil them until they are "fork tender". That just means until you can cut through them with a fork :)
Potatoes just boiling away!

    Heat your skillet to medium high and place your meat in there. Shred it while it is cooking so it is nice and crumbled. Add your Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper all to taste while your meat is cooking. I prefer about 1 tsp of each. I personally use a low 93% lean ground beef so I don't drain the fat off once it is done cooking but if you feel that there is too much grease please drain at this point.
still cooking down...
    With the meat still in your skillet add your veggies. I use peas and corn solely because my child is at that stage right now. You can substitute any veggies you want and make it seasonal even! Out of the two cans I only use one cup of veggies from each. I put the rest in a Tupperware container for other meals or snacks. Another option is the frozen bag of veggies just make sure you get the ones with no added sauces or seasonings. Add 1 Tbls of milk and flour into the pan and stir it together till it thickens up. Add the rest of the milk and stir slowly. It will create a roux. This will help keep your mixture from being to soggy and still have a great sauce for your pie! Add about a 1/4 cup of cheese to the mixture and stir until melted. Set aside.
Final stage...nice and thick.

    Take your potatoes, which should be done by now and drain them. Put them back into your pot and place back on your burner. Turn your burner off. Add the butter, salt, and pepper to it and mash with a hand mixer. Once blended add 1 Tbls of milk at a time and mix. Once they are mashed to how you like them set them aside.

   **Please note that you should always taste your food during prep as long as there is no raw meat or eggs. Everyone has different tastes so please adjust accordingly.**

Favorite ever! Cranberry Stoneware from PC

Take your pie plate and butter it. I use Pam Butter Spray but use
whatever you like. 

Take your potatoes and spread them on the bottom of the pie plate. 

Next spread your veggies and meat mixture on top of that.


Spread a layer of cheese on that and then it is time for the Tater Tots! I always line the rim of the plate with frozen tots kinda like a wall to help keep the juices in. After that place them however you want but line them all over the top. 

    Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until your tots are nice and crispy.


Tater tots done and baked!
    One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is versatile. You can change the meats for dietary needs, the veggies for seasonal or tastes preferences, and the milk and cheese even to make it more luxurious. During the winter I'll use fresh green beans and corn, buttermilk, and an italian mix shredded cheese. It's amazing how little changes can make a big difference. The other great part is that if you use disposable pie plates (deep dish of course) you can put it together then cover and freeze it. Just pull it out the morning of and by that evening you can cook it like normal! It is seriously a favorite of mine :)


    I know that by now easy is a bit of an expectation but sometimes I like to spend a little more time in the kitchen and make something truly comforting. Just remember that at the end of the day our missions as moms and wives are still the same. It is to provide an environment that our family wants to be in. It is about the smells and sights and sounds of family and happiness and sheer comfort. And sometimes a few extra minutes in the kitchen when we can helps bolster those tough days, rainy evenings, and sad little faces. Just don't forget the hugs to go with it ;)

Christmas 2012, Beau Rivage Casino Lobby

Best Wishes,
Jules & Monkey

1 comment:

  1. Xavier saw the Shep Pie and kept saying "Mmmm Yum!" lol oh btw even though I never liked Blogger I redid mine and ... I like it! Have more to do but for now its ok. Byeee