Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Favorites on the First: COMFORT FOODS

Happy 2013!

Welcome to another edition
Favorites on the First 

Well, I thought I would have
my post up by noon,
didn't quite make it.  

Had some set-backs.
Camera battery was dead.
Couldn't find my old recipe.
Burnt the first batch of sauteed onions
and celery, etc.etc.etc.
So I am late.

 I went online
and to find a
comparable recipe. 
Ended up finding one called
"Best Ever Shepard's Pie"
and thought I would give it a shot
 to see if it could hold up to it's name.

As soon as I started
compiling the ingredients,
I started tweaking it a bit.

 So here's the recipe.
It's in the oven baking now.
Smells goooood.
Again, this is my version - feel free to tweak it 
for your family and your tastes.
 That's what is great about a recipe
like this one -- use what you have 
or in my case, what my family will EAT!

 Shepard's Pie 
Slightly Tweaked

Meat Filling
1 bag/box of frozen corn
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 lbs. fresh ground beef
1 clove of minced garlic
4-5 Tbsp. flour
2 cups beef broth
1 lg. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp.  thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1-1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Potato Topping
1   5# bag of  potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 - 3/4 c. half and half
1 stick salted butter
1 -1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Prepare the corn as per instructions, drain,  and set aside.

2. Clean and chop the potatoes and put them in a large pot of cold water,
allowing 2 inches of water to cover them. Add 1-2 tsp. of salt and bring to boil over high heat, uncovered. Cook 12-15 minutes. 

3. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add chopped celery and onions. Stir often  for about 5 - 6 minutes. (I burnt my first batch while peeling my potatoes!!! Had to start over! Darn my multi-tasking.)

4. Add ground beef to skillet and brown with the celery and onions.
Once meat is cooked, drain all excess oils.

5. Put pan back on the burner and set heat to medium/low. Stir in garlic and flour. Then add beef broth and drained tomatoes. Sprinkle on herbs, 
corn and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.

6. Simmer mixture for several minutes to allow thickening. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13" casserole dish. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

7. Check your potatoes. If they are done, drain and add stick of butter, sliced in pieces. Allow those to melt and then start mashing. (I hand mashed mine, but could have used my mixing bowl -- your preference.
Add half and half, then salt and pepper. Mix. Then lightly fold in shredded cheddar. (The original recipe had it added as a final layer, but
we don't love a big slab of melted cheese on things... so I mixed it in
and sprinkled just a half a handful on top before I put it in the oven.)

8. Spoon potato mixture over the meat filling and cover edge to edge.
Take a big serving fork and make some stripes across the top. Now you can pop it in the oven, center rack, and bake it for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top and bubbly around the edges. NOTE:  I put a rimmed baking sheet on the rack under the dish to catch any drippings.... thank goodness I did. My pan runneth over.... big time. 

Cool several minutes before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

Some recipes add peas and carrots, greens beans, mushrooms, etc. Add whatever vegetables 
you have or that your family prefers. 
It's all good! 

Just tasted the finished dish.
It is really, really good! The tomatoes
are something I don't usually add, 
but they are a great addition.
This recipe is a keeper. Let me know
if you end up making it sometime.

(My New Year's Day 
has just had
 3 helpings 
since I started
writing this post, so that says a lot
about the recipe!) :)

Enjoy the day!

Link up your comfort food
posting below.
Thanks for joining the party
today at Favorites on the First.
Invite your friends to join.
The more the merrier!


NanaDiana said...

Wow! That sounds delicious-I would probably leave the tomatoes out though. Blessings to you- xo Diana

Designs By Pinky said...

OMGoodness, I WILL be making this!!! The ultimate comfort food for sure! Thanks for your version. Happy, happy new year, Akison. XO, Pinky

AshTreeCottage said...

Thanks for the recipe. I love Shepherd's Pie! Wishing you every happiness in 2013.

Big Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


Oh, I tyotally love this scrumptioous looking pie! I will be trying your recipe soon. I love home made bread, that for me is the most comforting in foods, as mother always baked when I was a child and now I do. I just posted a Kugelhofpt, with recipe..hope you like it. Wishing you a fabulous and exciting 2013! Thank you for been such a great blog friend, dear Alyson. Big hugs,

Ron said...

Yum, Alison! That sounds delicious. Thanks for hosting and Happy New Year! Thanks so much for your support of my blog over the past year. I appreciate your blog friendship. xo

Nici Higby said...

Your Shepherd's Pie looks delicious! That is the one comfort food I have never attempted to make. I think I have a new New Year's resolution...make this delicious dish! Thank so much for hosting! Hope your 2013 is wonderful.

Garden, Home and Party said...

We love Shepherd's Pie and you are so right, one of the best things about it is you can mix it up to suit your tastes.
Happy New Year.

Laura from Top This Top That said...

Hi Alison- Happy New Year. Sadly I have never made Shepards Pie- shame!!!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I love Shepherd's Pie....the best comfort food ever...
Happy New Year Alison!

Moni - Zuhaus at Home said...

I would love to try this dish!! Looks so good!
Thanks for hosting, have a very Happy New Year!

The enchanted home said...

Just finished a late lunch but now I am hungry again...oh no! This looks sooo good and is my kind of meal, kind of like the ultimate comfort food. Thanks for sharing and wishing you all very best in 2013!

Ricki Treleaven said...

LOL The whole time we were in Mexico my little niece wanted to go home and have Shepherd's Pie :D I need to send her the link to this post.

Happy New Year!


Bliss said...

I do make a version of shepherds pie, mine is similar, no tomatoes. Maybe I should give it a try with tomatoes.


michele said...

the cheesy potatoes are my favorite layer! yummmm.

peace and joy to you in the new year!

smiles from HL.


Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Hey girlfriend! This looks yummy! Shepherd's Pie is one of my husband's favorites after he spent some time in England. I'll have to try this! Happy New Year!

AntiqueChase said...

no recipe to share but wanted to stop by and say HNY!!

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

Hello Princess, your husband and I would have been fighting over the spatula! Now there's a vision! It really does look delicious! Looks like it could feed an army with 5 pounds of potatoes!
All the best in 2013!

Sarah said...

Alison, my husband would love this.
All the best for 2013. Happy New Year......Sarah

PURA VIDA said...

What a way to spend a first day of a new year cooking and eating that delicious looking dish!

An Eye for Detail said...

THis sound just delicious! A lot of ingredients...but all things we have in the kitchen.
I just linked up here for the first time and hope to remember this each month. Thanks so much for hosting! Now, off to look around!

Anonymous said...

Yummy! We love Shepherd's Pie will have to give this recipe a try. Thanks!

vignette design said...

Can't wait to try your recipe for Shepherd's Pie! It sounds very "comforting!" I think we are all thinking the same this January: comfort food! Had to share my Chicken-Tortilla Soup. It was delicious! Happy New Year Alison! ~Delores

The French Hutch said...

Alison, Your Shepherd's Pie looks delish and I can't wait to try it. One great thing about cold and wet are the wonderful comfort foods we grew up with! Thanks for hosting and wishing you the Best in 2013.......

The French Hutch

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

It looks so warm and comforting -- just what a comfort food should be!

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Amy said...

I love Shepherd's pie! Your resipe looks wonderful. Happy New Year! ~Amy