Chunky Shepherd’s Pie

After writing this blog for almost a year, new recipes that I might actually want to eat are getting less obvious from week to week.

It’s not like we struggle to come up with meals (although, sometimes we do), but I have run through all of my standby dishes and personal secret recipes.

So I decided to see what sorts of recipes were in Fannie Farmer’s cookbook. I found one that sounded alright: Shepherd’s Pie.

The idea pretty much came right out of nowhere.

The idea pretty much came right out of nowhere.

I had this once when I was a kid and don”t have very fond memories of it. But as I looked over the recipe, I couldn’t understand why. It’s got meat, potatoes and my favorite spice: rosemary.

After talking to a few people about their Pie recipes, I found that most use ground beef. That’s the way I ate it the first time around. And probably what made me not like it. So, I decided to go with a chunky version, and kicked up the spices.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup of beef broth
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 20 oz. of sirloin strips, chunked
  • Four to five medium potatoes, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • One medium onion, chopped
  • Rosemary, salt, pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed

First couple of things you can do at the same time: Boil your spuds and cook the beef. For the potatoes, peel, quarter and toss them into a large pot and cover with water. The potatoes are done when you can easily stab one with a fork. Mash them with a little milk and a small pad of butter. Don’t forget salt and pepper.

As for the beef … like I said, I used sirloin strips. So I pulled these apart, chunked and spiced them with rosemary and S & P. Just cook ’em on the stove in a bit of olive oil.

The sirloin turned out to be pretty frickin' awesome.

The sirloin turned out to be pretty frickin' awesome.

When the beef is done, take it out of the pan and set it aside. Now, grab your butter and flour. We’re going to make some yummy, quick gravy. Melt the 4 Tbsp. of butter in the frying pan you used to cook the beef. Nevermind that the fat is still in there — that’s where all the flavor is. If there is A LOT of fat left, drain some out.

Health food.

Health food.

Once the butter is melted, sprinkle in the flour and whisk until combined in a golden, smooth paste. Slowly add your beef broth, all the while continuing to whisk. It should turn into a nice thick gravy. You want to let it cook for a few minutes over low heat, otherwise it will just taste like flour. Gross.

Now stir in the crushed garlic, onion and beef. Once mixed, dump it into a glass baking pan. Spread the mashed potatoes on top and make a criss-cross design with a fork. Bake it at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are slightly browned.


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