Posts Tagged ‘pie’

I hated Shepard’s Pie when I was a kid! Despised it even. And I could never figure out why. At first, my mom made it with a mix of peas and corn, which makes sense why I hated it because peas are gross. But then she started making it half with corn only – one of my favorite vegetables – and I still couldn’t stand it. Whenever it would come around in the dinner rotation, it was as if my world was ending (remember being a teenager and how that felt – ah, youth!).

I figured that Shepard’s Pie needed a second chance and in honor of the St. Patrick’s day next week, now was the right time. For this version, I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary except adding a thin gravy on top for some added flavor and cooking the sirloin in beer. Although in the end, I could have done with a thicker gravy, I can see that this old stand by is not nearly as bad as I remembered from my childhood.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sirloin, ground
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 1/2 red or orange bell pepper
  • 8 oz middle of the road beer (drink the rest)
  • 12 oz frozen corn (never canned), thawed
  • 2 lbs red bliss potatoes
  • 1/4 c cream (substitute half and half or milk)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 green onions, cut thin

1. Start by placing the potatoes in a pot of cold water with 1 tsp salt. Cook until the potatoes are easily pierced by a fork.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the onion, celery, and pepper to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Then add the beef and cook until you cannot see any more pink. Pour in 8 oz of your favorite beer. Reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Take off the heat and set aside.

3. When the potatoes done, drain and add to a large glass bowl. Add the butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend with a hand mixer until you reach your desired consistency. If you find there is not enough liquid, add milk or cream slowly and blend until you get the consistency you desire. Add the green onions at the end and fold in.

4. To build your pie, place the meat at the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish. Add the corn and top, and then spread the mashed potatoes on top evenly. Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until everything is warmed through and the potatoes begin to brown.

5. Serve hot out of the oven with a gravy.

Lots of people will sit down together at turkey dinners across the country tomorrow and many families will honor the age old tradition of saying aloud the things that they are thankful for. When I was a kid, I always thought this time was a good opportunity to fit in something hilarious like “I’m thankful for Nintendo” or “I’m thankful for air.” I’m not entirely sure what my sense of humor was back then, but at least I thought it was funny. I also find it amusing when husbands take the time to honor their wives in a rare moment of romance indicating to their family and friends how lucky they are to have their wives. Wives of the world, don’t let this dribble fool you this year. If after dinner they immediately head to the television to watch football, nothing has changed.

But I thought it might be fun to write a bit about what I’m thankful for in my life through my environment I know the best: my kitchen.

  1. I’m thankful for olive wood which is not only incredibly light, but marvelously beautiful. I’ve seen a vast collection of kitchen cutting boards, utensils, and  various serving dishes at higher end stores. I’d imagine that in the future this trend will trickle down and more manufacturers will begin using olive wood as well.
  2. I’m thankful for induction burners and the leaps and bounds the technology has developed. When modern induction burners were first on the market, it was almost impossible to set a temperature to anything but boil and they were often bulky and overpriced. Now the technology has produced pretty decent portable induction burner units that have variable temperature settings in addition to full cook top options complete with 4 to 6 different burners. While the better quality burners are still a bit out of my price range, I can see in a couple of years a beautiful shiny new model sitting on my counter top.
  3. I’m thankful for Cuisinart who are quickly becoming my favorite brand of mid range kitchen appliances. Their stand mixer makes me second guess the Kitchenaid version which dominated the market for 40 years and has forced Kitchenaid to rethink their models and offer higher end options.
  4. Lastly, I’m thankful for pie. Pie is without a doubt my favorite dessert. That’s all. I just wanted to mention that.

And to all my readers, friends, and family, Happy Thanksgiving!