Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shepards Pie Casserole

I'm the queen of casseroles, a self-assigned title, but it fits.  Casseroles feel good.  They are a good way to pack a lot of food in an easy package.  They can be made ahead.  Baked by others. They usually make good left overs.  I like casseroles.  This is an original recipe that has evolved over time.

Start with potatoes, 6 or so little red potatoes.  I see people in the store picking up individual potatoes, examining them, then putting them into sacks.  I buy them at my local produce market by the 5 or 10 pound sack and keep them in the bottom of Husband's beer fridge.  Keep a root cellar and keep it full of this type of thing.  Peel and half or quarter the potatoes.  Bring a kettle full of water to a boil.  Add the potatoes and cook them until they stick easily with a knife. 

Meanwhile, a scallion peeled and diced and two or three garlic cloves, minced or finely diced.  Brown a pound of the best ground beef you can find with the onion and garlic.  I was simply clueless how much better ground beef can be than the kind you buy at the grocery store.  It's been night and day.  If you are not buying local beef from a butcher who can tell you where it came from and that it was grown all natural, you won't regret the time to find it. Drain any liquid from the meat if necessary now. 

Somewhere around 8 or so cleaned and quartered mushrooms.  A can of green bean beans, drained.  1T. Worcestershire sauce.  4 or 5 T. ketchup.  1/2 C. beef broth.  Stir and cook for a few minutes to combine the ingredients and to soften the mushrooms.  

When the potatoes are soft, drain them and return them to the pan.  Mash them with a potato masher.  Add butter and cream and salt as if making mashed potatoes.  Your decision how rich, but I recommend living a little.  

The meat mixture into a casserole.  The potatoes over top. 

Into a 350 degree preheated oven for like 20 minutes or so.  Until kind of bubbly. More if you've set this aside to cool.  Add some cheese to the top if you want.  

People like it.  Makes good leftovers.  It's just a good thing.  

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