Recipe: Shepherd's Pie for New Twist on Hamburger
I don't know about you, but sometimes I am stymied by what to do with hamburger. When we find natural beef for sale from a local farmer and take the plunge to buy and taste theirs, we usually get more hamburger than anything else. Which leaves me the cook sometimes scratching my head. I can't turn to my old cookbooks for ideas, because apparently hamburger wasn't commonplace in the 1940s. I don't even see it in the index of my WW II cookbook.
But here's a standby I pull out on occasion that's easy to make and turns that all natural grass fed beef hamburger into a warming comfort food: Shepherd's Pie.
Now, there are as many versions of Shepherd's Pie as there are shepherds, I'm sure. And each time I make it, it's a little different depending on my mood. But here's what I did last night, in case you want to try this. If you want better directions, search online and you'll find all kinds of recipes!
Shepherd's Pie Recipe
First, make mashed potatoes. I used three potatoes but you could do more. They make the crust so it only depends on how thick you want your potatoes on top. Make them nummy, with butter and cream, just like you'd like them on your plate.
Preheat your oven to 400.
Next, the filling: I browned the hamburger in a cast iron skillet. Once it was almost all the way brown, I pulled it out, added about 2 T butter, and sauteed a small onion, finely chopped. When the onion started to turn clear, I added 2 cloves minced garlic, a pinch of rosemary, a pinch of time and a good dash of Hungarian paprika. Cooked that a minute, the stirred in 2 T of flour, then added enough chicken stock (stirring constantly) to make a kind of gravy. I put the meat back in and put the filling in my casserole dish.
Slowly I spread the mashed potatoes on top to make the crust. Now, here's a secret for really good crust: Use your fork to make lines in the potatoes after you've spread them across the filling, then put some very small dollops of butter in a few places on your crust.
Bake 20-25 minutes at 400 then put under the broiler until your crust is golden brown.