Go-to Shepherd’s Pie
You know how there are go-to sources? When I have a problem with my computer, I have a friend who works with IBM that I ask for a cure or at least a clue. Usually he gives me multiple clues until I can figure it out on my own. Generally speaking, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but I have very very low tolerance with technological things that do not work. It simply creates a global inconvenience and plain stops my day from running forward. Probably, this attests to our deep dependancy for being wired. All that being said, when you are looking for an answer to an important puzzle, you’ll turn to your go-to’s. They won’t let you down.
When I made this shepherd’s pie, believe it or not it was my very first one. And for some reason, I wanted to find a go-to recipe. No experiments this time, let’s just find one that is proven to please the palate. For this reason, I’ve often relied on the website allrecipes.com because it is a humble hub where hundreds of home cooks stir the pot. There can be fancy recipes and world-renowned chefs, but if I can’t pronounce the ingredient, or my family is still hungry after consuming the teensy yet terrifically constructed edible on the plate, I might just pass up the recipe. The great thing about allrecipes.com are the reviews. One person will share a recipe, but many more will give their feedback and suggestions for those who have yet to try it out.
Sometimes, you can even mix and match the feedback if you know what kind of taste you are looking to create. I wanted a recipe with dimension and flavour, instead of just a two-story building of meat and mashed potatoes. So that’s how this shepherd’s pie recipe came about. A collected consultation of the go-to home cooks out in the cyber kitchen.
Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie
- 5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 small onion
- 1 carrot, cut in half-moon coins
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- mild salsa
- Worcestershire sauce
- Yellow mustard
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Season the ground beef with salt, pepper, and thyme, and sprinkling of Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
- Fry the onions until translucent, adding some salt and pepper in the pan while they cook. Set aside.
- Place the cubed potatoes in a pot full of water that just covers the potatoes. Boil on high heat for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened. Drain and place in a bowl.
- While the potatoes boil, brown the beef and drain the excess fat. Combine the carrots to the beef in the last few minutes of cooking. Adding slightly cooked carrots to the beef gives a little crunch and a slight colour contrast to the meat. Lastly, add a few spoonfuls of salsa to the meat. Some recipes call for tomato sauce, but I like the mild spice of salsa with the beef. Don’t add too much salsa otherwise it becomes strangely Mexican – just a couple spoonfuls will get the hint across.
- Mash the potatoes, and add salt, pepper, and a dollop of mustard for flavour. If you have sour cream in the fridge, add a spoonful or two as well, but I didn’t have any at the time. Some people swear by cream or milk in their mashed potatoes, but I found that without them the potatoes are alright too.
- In a large casserole dish, spread the meat mixture and layer the mashed potatoes on top. Use a fork to create a criss-cross on the potatoes.
- Bake for 25 minutes.