Week 10: Shepherd’s Pie

This week, if you read the title, you know I made Shepherd’s Pie! My mom was surprised when I told her I’ve never made this. Now that I think about it, I may have made it a long time ago. I seem to recall making some Shepherd’s Pie-esque dish in individual puff pastries. (Mom, do you know what it is I’m thinking of?) But also, my parents became vegetarians when I was a tween, and Lentil Shephard’s Pie was (is?) much less appealing, so I haven’t tried to make it in a while.

Anyway, I’m trying to alternate between meat and vegetarian recipes, and I’ve mostly done veggie recipes recently. Also, I’m only really comfortable cooking chicken and pre-cooked meats (like boxes of frozen food with specific instructions, where I am unlikely to poison myself and that aren’t frozen dinners), so I want to try cooking different meats. The other thing is, I find beef to be very bland (sorry steak-loving friends) so I don’t have a ton of motivation to use it in my cooking. But this recipe looked good, and I figured the vegetables and spices would make the beef taste good 😛

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/beef-shepherds-pie-recipe

I made a couple changes to the recipe as I went. First of all, I tried to make the mashed potatoes and the beef/vegetable mixture simultaneously, which was a terrible idea, because the beef/vegetable mixture had so many steps and I had to take it off the heat so I could finish the mashed potatoes. It worked out at first because I was just waiting for the potatoes to boil, but I suggest just chopping up the vegetables and measuring out the other ingredients, but not cooking anything until the potatoes are done. This is ironic because my Dad sent me an article on how multi-tasking doesn’t work literally last week and I haven’t read it yet.

I made the same mistake I made in a previous week: I didn’t get a big enough frying pan. I found the largest frying pan in my landlady’s kitchen and it still wasn’t big enough. So I found a wok and it worked fine.

Also, I cut out a few ingredients: olive oil (it was just for the frying, so I used butter), Worcestershire sauce (didn’t want to buy it and never use the rest of it), celery (because ew 😛 ), and pepper (didn’t have any). I also cut down on the salt, because the recipe calls for a lot of it, and I used vegetable broth instead of beef broth, because there it is less likely to go to waste.

The recipe took a while to make, but it was easy and straightforward (I feel like I say that about all of the recipes I’ve tried, but it’s true). It turned out great, it’s very tasty, and I have plenty of leftovers for the whole week!

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