Sometimes the house is in chaos with boxes patiently waiting to be unpacked. Sometimes the water heater is busted and it’s cold outside and you have no hot water. Sometimes, you only have only about 12 inches of clear counter space.
Sometimes you need to cook your way to calm. Comfort food. Mashed potatoes. Nothing says “it’s gonna be okay” like potatoes. Except maybe cheese or bacon.
Shepard’s Pie is hands down one of my favorite go to “I need stretchy pants and tasty things” meal. When, I was growing up our friend Mrs. Davies made a heavenly Shepard’s Pie. But Mrs. Davies is on the Isle of Wight. So, I’ve made up my own version.
This isn’t authentic. It’s quick. But it delivers.
Start with the star. Make mashed potatoes.
Dig out a cast iron skillet. Garlic and onions sizzle. Inhale. Cause home is where the sizzle is.
Ground meat. We’re gonna add in veggies. Yes, they’re frozen. The fridge is empty but the freezer’s full. We’re rollin’ with it.
Balsamic vinegar. HP sauce. Italian Seasoning. Soy Sauce. Worchestershire Sauce. Mix it up. Really. There are no rules.
If you can’t find you’re favorite red pie dish. Don’t stress. Use your favorite blue soup pot. Just make sure it’s oven-proof.
Into the pot with the beef and veggies. Now, dish out those potatoes. A big, thick, fluffy layer. Don’t be stingy.
We’re gonna put things in the oven to heat up.
Be patient for 20 minutes or so. Go unpack a box. Or not.
When it’s all warm… scoop. A big, heapin’ pile. Serve it to people you love. Laugh loud. Linger. Have seconds.
Those boxes will be there tomorrow.
There’s a recipe down there if you want to give it a go.
What’s your favourite “tastes like home” dish?
P.S. If the battery charger for your camera is in a box. Don’t sweat it. Take pictures with your phone.
- **Mashed Potatoes**
- 4-5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 6 Tablespoons of butter
- 1¼ Cups of milk
- 3 Cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 Cup of onion, chopped
- 1 Pound of ground beef (or any ground meat)
- 16 Ounce bag of frozen mixed veggies (I use the kind that has lima beans or tossed in leftover veggies if you have them in the fridge)
- 2 Teaspoons Worcestshire Sauce
- 2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
- ¼ Cup HP sauce (or any steak sauce)
- 1 Teaspoon oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Paprika to taste
- Boil potatoes till fork tender.
- Drain well and return to pot.
- Add milk and butter. Beat with hand mixer till fluffy. Season with salt to taste.
- (You can make mashed potatoes how ever you like. As long as you end up with a heaping pile of them you're in like Flynn.)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a deep skillet, over medium heat, heat up the olive oil. Saute garlic and onion till fragrant.
- Add in ground meat.
- Once meat is thoroughly cooked add in bag of vegetables, Worcestershire and Soy sauce, HP sauce, oregano, Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar.
- Stir and simmer till everything is heated through.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the meat mixture to an oven proof dish (pie pans work great)
- Top meat with a healthy layer of mashed potatoes.
- Sprinkle potatoes with paprika.
- Place in oven for 20 minutes or till everything is heated through.