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Semi-Homemade Shepherd’s Pie

on January 25, 2014

Click Here to Print: Semi Homemade Shepherd’s Pie

A family favorite for sure!

A family favorite for sure!

I loved two versions of this before I started making my own.  One was growing up – a friend’s mom made mashed potatoes with ground beef gravy.  It was super yummy!  The other was after the same friend became my first college roommate.  The cafeteria on the first floor of our dorm served a version of this – topped with melted cheese. Yum!

Having liked it so much as a kid and in college, I started making this pretty early on in my days as a grown-up.  It’s really easy with the help of a gravy packet and frozen veggies, though I’ve made it using fresh veggies, too.

I recently tried my hand at homemade brown gravy, so I’ll probably make this totally homemade at some point. Or maybe not.  The semi-homemade part is pretty appealing.

Speaking of peeling (hehe), if you don’t want to bother mashing your own potatoes, you can use a package of those, too.

This is the semi-homemade part.

These are the semi-homemade ingredients I use, but add packaged mashed potatoes to make it even easier!

Making the gravy in the middle of the pan you used to brown the beef saves some dishes!

Making the gravy in the middle of the pan you used to brown the beef saves some dishes!

Add whatever veggies you like.  We usually go with this mix.

Add whatever veggies you like. We usually go with this mix.

You don't need to bake it, which means you could save even more dishes.

You don’t really need to bake it, which means you could save even more dishes.

However, baking it with butter on top does make it extra tasty!

However, baking it with butter on top does make it extra tasty!

Oh, and by the way… this can be made ahead and freezes well, which means it’s great for a care-package meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 package brown gravy mix
  • 1 package mixed frozen veggies
  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • ¼- ½ c milk
  • 5 T butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and put a pot of water on to boil.
  2. Peel and chop potatoes. Put them in the pot of water and cook until very tender.
  3. In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef.
  4. Once done, push the beef to the outsides of the pan and prepare the gravy as directed on the package using the center of the pan.
  5. Prepare frozen veggies as directed on the package and add them to the ground beef and gravy. Stir to combine.
  6. Once the potatoes are done, drain and mash them.
  7. Add 3 T butter and ¼ c milk and continue to mash.  Add more milk as needed to get the desired consistency – it will depend on the size of your potatoes.
  8. Add salt and pepper to the potatoes to taste.
  9. In a casserole dish, layer first the meat mixture, then the potatoes, smoothing them out to cover the meat mixture.  Top with remaining 2 T butter, cut into small pieces.
  10. Bake about 30 minutes until butter is melted and potatoes begin to brown slightly.

Here are some ideas to get your “kid cook” involved with this recipe:

  • Have him help peel the potatoes.
  • If the meat mixture has cooled enough (or give him big oven mitts), have him help scoop it from the pan into the casserole dish.  He can also do so for the potatoes.
  • Have him arrange the butter pieces on top of the potatoes.
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