Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Simplest Shepard's Pie Recipe Ever!

In news related to Rhi and Evie's ride, we aren't able to go for medical reasons, so we're obviously disappointed that life decided to become complicated. We were looking forward to a month of hanging out, practicing prepper skills like deadfall traps and cast iron dutch oven cookery... but that doesn't mean I'm not going to have some fun with the preps I had gathered.

One of the things I planned to try while on the trip was a "bastard shepherd's pie". I say bastard because the meat was either going to be smashed spam or tuna instead of ground beef. (Oh quite cringing, it wouldn't have been that bad.)

This recipe is something that I came up with on the fly to see if those packs of mashed potatoes with the little extra seasonings that I mentioned last time would work for said food dish.

  • 1 1/2 lbs of ground meat. I recommend not very lean ground beef; you'll read why later.
  • 1 small onion, chopped (any onions will do, if you want to extra color try red onions)
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 carrots (size matters not)
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped, about the same size as the onions and celery
  • Additional seasonings can be added but they aren't needed. I used some rosemary, sage and chives from my little container garden.
  • About 1/2 cup of instant mashed potatoes. I used the Applewood smoked bacon mashed potato pack for this, and the bacon flavor really blended well with the rest of the flavors. 
    • If you decide to make the mashed potatoes from scratch, you'll need about a cup and a half of boiled finely diced potatoes. Contrary to popular beliefs, mashed potatoes don't need milk or butter, just salt and black pepper. 
  • Salt & black pepper
  • A thickening agent. Many people use regular white flour, but one of the things that Rhi and I were going to be playing around with were alternative flours like buckwheat, tapioca and white rice flours. I used white rice flour in this instance; coconut and almond flours would not work for this recipe as they have a stronger flavor than rice or tapioca.
  1. While your beef is cooking down, chop up your veggies and set them aside.
  2. Your beef is ready to throw into a mixing bowl or the cooking dish once it's cooked almost all the way through. DON'T THROW THAT FAT AWAY! Leave it in the pan. That's what you're cooking your veggies in.
  3. Put your onions and celery in first. Keep an eye on your veggies because you're going to be adding the jalepeno to the mix once the onions have started to turn translucent. You'll toss your carrots in once the celery is tender and mix everything together in the frying pan really well.
  4. Once you have everything in the pan mixed, sprinkle some of your thickening agent into the pan and mix well again, reducing heat but keep stirring. You'll probably use at most a tablespoon depending on what you've chosen.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350.
  6. Turn the water on for your instant mashed potatoes (or if you went with potatoes from scratch, you can have them on a medium boil on the side while cooking everything else).
  7. Mix your meat and veggies well. Put them into your baking dish and make sure your layers is flat as possible. 
  8. Once you've gotten your potatoes mixed up/mashed up, spoon them on your mixture in the baking dish and carefully spread them with the back of the large spoon. Once you have an even layer, pop into the oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes have a bit of a crust to them.
When ready, let sit for about 5-10 minutes if possible to let everything settle down a little bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bon appetite! 

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