As I am sure all of you are aware, there are so many ways to make this classic casserole. Some think ground beef, corn, brown gravy, topped with mashed potatoes.
Others think ground lamb or mixture of lean ground meats, peas, carrots with a flavorful sauce topped with whipped potatoes. One lady told me some restaurant keeps begging her for her recipe, she made me some, I was NOT impressed. Way over the top, she used ground beef, did not drain the grease, the veggies were assorted peas, carrots, corn and lima beans. Sadly she did not cook them well and they were still very hard. The sauce was a odd combination of white wine, cream and some butter and herbs. Then to top off the monstrosity her “famous” whipped potatoes. Lumpy, slightly runny, how that is classified as whipped I will never know. They might have been ok but she added way to much lavender and tarragon to them. She managed to take a rustic meal and tried to turn it into upper crust but failed miserably.
The other end of the spectrum is my mothers. We were poor. I am not knocking my mothers cooking at all but somehow this rustic poor mans meal turned even poorer when she made it. Sadly to the point where I would not touch it for many years to come, that is until I met my fiance. Hers was so dry, poor quality ground meat and layers of unflavorful boxed mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Starts off with as lean of ground beef as we can afford, browned and drain thoroughly.
In a glass baking dish he combines 2 cans of veg-all, yes canned veggies, I told you he cheats due to space, our freezer is an avalanche of meat from awesome deals, this way we save money on meat but then sadly have no space for frozen veggies.
Back to the pie. Stir in 1 can tomato soup, condensed. Do not add the water. Combine well. Add the drained meat to the soup/veg mix and combine well.
We do make our own mashed potatoes, so after they are done boiling rinse well and add back into pot. I use 6-8 large potatoes or more depending on what that looks like chopped up. We like to have a huge potato top. Add to the potatoes, a pinch of salt, pepper to taste, 3oz cream cheese, soft, 4T butter soft and milk to desired consistency. Mash until desired lumpiness is achieved.
Plop the potatoes on top of meat/veg mix and spread out over the whole top. Bake at 350 until top is golden brown. Not sure how long since the fiance doesn’t do this, he just puts it in the oven until it’s hot all the way through.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to make this dish, to each their own, but Marc’s is for me rustic enough, flavorful and simple. We each have two servings for dinner and the last two servings are for lunch the next day.
If anyone has a favorite shepherds pie recipe they would like to share, I would love to try them!!