Shepherd's Pie

I promised the shepherd's pie recipe after the last family dinner, and here you have it:

BCS Shepherd's Pie

1 lb ground beef (or turkey)

4 c. potatoes, (peeled or not, depending on your preference) washed and cut into large pieces

2 cups corn kernels (I use frozen corn, organic when there's room in the budget, though you could certainly use fresh or canned as well)

1 clove garlic ( or more to taste)

one packet of vegetarian brown gravy mix (this is what I use. if you have a homemade gravy recipe or a mix that you love, use it!)

about 1/2 cup milk and some butter or margarine for the mashed potatoes

1/2 to 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

salt, pepper to taste

8 ior 9 inch square baking dish

First, preheat the over to 350 degrees. Then put the potatoes in a large pot with enough hot water to cover them and bring to a boil. Let them boil for about 10 minutes, then test for softness. You want them really soft so they'll mash easily and evenly.
While they're boiling chop the garlic as finely as you can, then cook it with the beef on high heat all the way through - no pink left anywhere. Season with salt, pepper.
Put the beef in the bottom of your dish.

Prepare the gravy - the kind I use just needs to be whisked with water and brought to a boil. When it's ready, pour it over the beef in the dish and mix around so it's all coated well.

Next, cook the corn in a pan with a little butter or margarine until it's heated through. Don't add salt while it's cooking - it will make the corn tough!
Pour the cooked corn over the beef making a nice layer.

Next, get to work on those mashed potatoes! They should be soft now, so drain them in a colander and put them back in the hot pot. Add your milk, butter or margarine and some salt if you like, then mash away. A masher is easiest, but a large fork or slotted spoon will work as well. Get them as smooth as you can, and taste for seasoning. If they feel stiff or dry, just add a little more milk a bit at a time.

When they're nice and smooth, spoon them over the corn layer in the dish, using a spatula to spread if necessary. When you've covered the corn, sprinkle the cheese all over the top. Use as much or as little as you'd like. I tend to like things cheesy!!

Pop it in the over until the cheese is nice and bubbly - about 10-12 minutes for a dish this size.

This will feed 6 people well, especially with some bread and salad! You can easily double or triple ( or more!) this recipe for a bigger crowd.

Some great variations to try:
Add some cooked carrots or kale or spinach to the beef before layering the corn.
Use mixed veggies instead of just corn for the second layer.
Mix the cheese with the potatoes while mashing instead of sprinkling on top.
It's a casserole! Improvise based on what your family likes!

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