Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

First off, I need to say that technically, what you're about to see is Cottage Pie since it's made with beef, and not Shepherd's Pie, which is made with lamb. That said, I think "Shehperd's Pie" is a more well known name here in the U.S., so that's what I'm calling it.

This has to be one of the greatest "clean out the fridge" dishes you'll ever find. This particular incarnation began its life as Salisbury Steak with mushroom and onion gravy, served along with mashed parsnips/potatoes. Up to this point, I'd always made Shepherd's Pie out of left over meatloaf and mashed potatoes, so using Salisbury Steak seemed like a natural progression.

Here's the finished dish...isn't it pretty? I like to make "individual pies" for each person (and believe me, neither of us ever finishes one at one sitting, so they make great lunches the next day too!), so I use my stoneware bowls, since they are oven-safe.

Now, how'd it go together?
First...I chopped the leftover salisbury steak paddy into cubes and distributed it in the bottom of the bowl. I've found that using one whole piece of meatloaf, or in this case, one whole steak paddy meant that the first few bites around the edge of the bowl may not have much, if any, meat in them.This way fixes that problem!

Next I put some chopped fresh carrots, green beans and leftover mushrooms on top of the steak. Usually I use frozen mixed veggies, but since I had fresh stuff on hand, I used them instead. This meant it had to bake a little longer in the oven, but that's ok.

Now for the mushroom and onion gravy from the salisbury steak meal. I wish this came across better in a picture, but it is what it is!

I had never had parsnips before, and wanted to try them, so I added them in with the potatoes when I made mashed potatoes to go along with the salisbury steak. They were very tasty! I will be using them again in the future. But for now, I took the leftover mashed parsnips and potatoes, and generously spread them on top of the pies. I feel it's important to get a good "seal", so be sure to get the pototoes all the way to the edge of the bowls!

One thing I do differently than most Shepherd Pie creators is top the potatoes with some cheddar cheese. I mean, how can adding cheese to meat, veggies and potatoes be a bad thing??

And here it is again, after being baked at 350 degrees for about a half an hour. After that, I turned the broiler on over them to brown the cheese and potatoes a little bit. KEEP AN EYE ON THEM WHILE THEY'RE UNDER THE BROILER!!! You want them slightly browned, not charred!

And in case you're wondering, here are two pictures of the Salisbury Steaks from which this 2nd Day Gourmet meal originated.

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