Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Aaaah, March... my favorite month because it contains one of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick's Day!!! I love to celebrate my Irish heritage by cooking some fabulous Irish-inspired dishes and probably drinking way too much Guiness and other spirits. The recipe that follows is my mom's variation of Shepherd's Pie. It's a great way to use leftover pot roast meat. When you're cooking for 2, there's ALWAYS leftover pot roast meat.

1 lb leftover pot roast meat, cut into cubes
2 C mashed potatoes
Parmesan cheese
1 package frozen mixed vegetables
Any leftover veggies from the pot roast
1 C beef gravy

Let's start with the beef gravy. I saved the drippings from my pot roast and skimmed the fat after it had cooled in the fridge. You could also make your own beef gravy by combining some beef boullion and boiling water. The key here to to thicken it to the consistency of pudding with a mixture of cornstarch and COLD water. This is important because the water from the frozen veggies will make the gravy mixture thinner.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the mashed potatoes with a handful of Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Defrost the frozen veggies in the microwave and drain well. In a large bowl, combine the meat, all veggies and the gravy.

Coat a glass baking dish (round or square works best) with cooking spray. Scoop the mixture into the baking dish and top with the mashed potatoes, spreading them to all edges of the baking dish. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet to prevent spillage of any gravy that oozes out while cooking. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the gray bubbles and oozes slightly from the sides. CAREFULLY stick your finger in the middle of the pie to make sure the center is warmed through.

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