Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Suck it up, Buttercup!

My friend is having surgery on both feet. Whenever any of my friends go under the knife I cook them goodies or I at least stop at the pastry shop and bring them goodies that I couldn't possibly make myself. She doesn't want me to make her anything but you know what, I'm making her something anyway. GOT THAT S.S.! EAT IT OR DIE!!!!!! Usually I make lasagna but since I think she probably makes a better lasagna than me, I'm going to make her shepherds pie because when it comes to anything with gravy, I RULE!!! I have two versions I make - one has corn in it the other with peas and carrots. The latter I make for others mostly since I think peas are kind of gross. She won't tell me which she would rather have. Maybe I'll put all three in there. Take that, woman!

Shepherds pie is the easiest of casseroles and hearty comfort food to me. It freezes well so that a bonus, too. Here is how I make mine:

Brown a pound or so of ground beef with some chopped onions and crushed garlic until everything is cooked. Drain most of the fat - NOT ALL OF IT! Add a tablespoon or so of flour to the remaining fat to make a roux. Add enough beef broth to make a nice gravy and throw in a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Bring everything to a simmer until thickened. I like to add beef base to the stock to make it richer. Pour this on the bottom of a baking dish. Over this make a layer of corn or peas and carrots. I usually buy frozen and defrost. The last layer is mashed potatoes. I use Russets that I peel and boil and I mash them with generous amounts of butter and cream. I also add a good amount of salt. Mashed potatoes need salt. Once it's all put together I wrap it in foil for delivery. An hour at 350 should do the trick and voila hot dinner is served - even to the family of a temporary invalid!

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