Award Winning Shepard’s Pie

That’s right, AWARD winning.  This is not an exaggeration, or one of those times when my family tells me it’s so good it should win awards, this Shepard’s Pie recipe legit won a cooking contest.

It was no big thing, it’s not like I won Chopped with this recipe, but still, it’s a damn good recipe.

Using flour and cornstarch in the meat while it is cooking and adding cheddar garlic mashed will make every bite of this Shepard’s pie heavenly.

Ingredients:

These are the main ingredients.

1 lb ground beef (as lean as possible 93%)
1 lb ground pork
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 med size chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic or 3-4 heads
1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 can white corn
1 can yellow corn

Seasoning, etc.

4-5 large redskin potatoes
1 stick of butter
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

Pre Heat Your Oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Brown the Onions

Because of the nature of this dish, you will have to have many things cooking at once, so balance is key.  You will want to set timers and pay attention to ensure that nothing burns.

We’ll start with the meat.

In a large skillet brown the about 1/3 cup chopped onion (the picture shows half a large onion) in olive oil on medium to medium-high heat.  Season with salt and pepper.

While you wait for the onions to become translucent, begin cleaning and chopping the potatoes.  You want the potatoes to be smaller than usual so they will cook more quickly and mash more easily.  I used redskin potatoes because they are creamy and delicious, and I leave the skins on.

Meat!

Once your onions are clear add your meat, 1 pound of the leanest ground beef you can buy and 1 pound of ground pork.  Break up the meat and begin to mix everything together.

Sprinkle the meat with two tablespoons of flour and one tablespoon of corn starch.  This will create a gravy as the meat cooks which is why you want to have the leanest meat possible.

Season the meat with your favorite spices.  Everyone has their own way of adding flavor to ground meat and this dish is pretty pliable in that sense.  I used onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and chopped garlic.  Stir everything together and brown the meat.

Boiling Potatoes

While you are browning the meat you should get your potatoes boiling.  Salt the water and season it with large pieces of onion and chopped garlic.  In this case I just used the other half of the onion from the meat.

Typically, I cook the potatoes in a mixture of chicken broth and water mixture.  I will add a post about fool-proof awesome mashed potatoes soon.  However, this time, when making this, I didn’t have any broth, so I just boiled them in water and used one of those fancy-dancy new condensed stock things.  I love them, so I added one while mashing the potatoes as a substitute.

Boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until you can stick a fork in them and they are soft.

Mashed Potatoes

Once the meat is mostly browned add in one can of diced tomatoes.  Let the meat simmer on low as you mash the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes.  Add the butter, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper to the pot until the butter melts.  Add the potatoes back to the pot and sprinkle the parsley and cheese over the potatoes.  Using a heavy wooden spoon or potato masher to coarsely mash the potatoes.

Because you are making a casserole, make the mashed potatoes thicker than usual.  I leave lumps in mine so I have something to bite into.  If you find that the potatoes are too thick, add chicken broth a little at a time until they are at your preferred texture.

Layers: Meat – Veggies – Potatoes

Now we begin layering the dish.   Grease the pan or spray it with cooking spray.

Fill the dish just under half way with the meat mixture.  Drain and mix your veggies and layer them over the meat.  In this particular pie I used a can of white corn, a can of yellow corn, and a can of peas.  Honestly, I usually make it without the peas and think I prefer it that way, but you can use any vegetables you like.

Your last layer will be the mashed potatoes.  Top it with a little more cheddar cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake the pie for 25 minutes at 350, then without removing the pie, turn the oven to broil on high for 5 minutes so you get a golden crust on top.

Let the pie cool 5-10 minutes or you will have a soupy mess on your hands. This recipe is amazing and a sure-fire crowd pleaser.  This is a great make it on Sunday and bake it on Wednesday dinner to save some time during the week!

Mmmm… Pie.

Here’s a printable:

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef (as lean as possible 93%)
1 lb ground pork
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 med size chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic or 3-4 heads
1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 can white corn
1 can yellow corn

4-5 large redskin potatoes
1 stick of butter
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

*Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees*

1. chop the onion in small bites and saute in olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper as it cooks.

2. Once the onions are translucent, add ground beef and pork.  Season meat with chopped garlic, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.  Once all the the meat, onions, and seasonings have been mixed together (but not fully browned) add the four and cornstarch.  Stir to combine.

3.  Clean and chop potatoes into small pieces so they will cook faster.  (I always leave the skins on, but it is a preference).

4.  Boil the potatoes.  To add additional flavor to your mashed potatoes, add chicken broth, salt, garlic, and a chopped onion to the water with the potatoes.  The potatoes will be done once you can put a fork in them and they are soft.  Generally, this takes 10-15 minutes.

4.  Once the potatoes have cooked, drain them from the water.  You may wish to remove the chopped onions, but you may leave them in as well.

5.  Leaving the pan on the stove, melt one stick of butter and add 2 tablespoons chopped garlic.  Be careful not to overcook the garlic as it will turn bitter.

6.  Add the potatoes to the melted butter and using a wooden spoon or potato masher, coarsely mash the potatoes.  If needed (or wanted) use some of the chicken broth to thin the potatoes.  I keep the potatoes thick and lumpy for two reasons, one, because I love lumpy potatoes, and two because if they are thicker they hold together better when you serve the pie.
As you mash the potatoes, stir in the parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper if needed, and cheddar cheese.  Set the potatoes to the side as you finish.

7.  Just before the meat is finished browning, add the can of diced tomatoes and stir until the meat is fully cooked.  You may season with your preferred seasonings as well to meet you preferences.

8. Grease your baking pan, or if you have it, spray the pan with canola or olive oil.  Your first layer is meat.  You will want to use all the meat, or fill the pan just under half way.

9.  Your next layer will be your veggies, drain them and mix them and spread them over the meat.

10.  Fill the pan the rest of the way with the potatoes and top with cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, then broil on low for 5 minutes until the top has a golden crust.

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