Monday, November 10, 2008

The Recipe

Melissa asked me to post the recipe for the Shephards Pie I made...which is such a compliment.
And I figured I would do it...on one condition.
Please please please...anyone who reads this, comment on the post with your favorite recipe.
I really am trying to learn to cook for my family and the hardest part is to think of what to cook.
Please just give me your easiest...most used...favorite...whatever recipe.
Then they'll all be here for anyone who wants to grab one!

This will get us started
Shephards Pie:
Here is how to make Shepherds Pie for 8.

2lbs ground beef
1lb. Ground Lamb (Fresh not frozen, if you can find it).
Beef or Chicken Stock
5-6 lbs potatoes (Russets or Yukon Gold).
Two large sweet Yellow onion peeled and chopped
5 cloves Garlic
5-6 good shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
1-2 cups of Red Wine (a relatively heavy red- Cabernet or some blend)
1 small can Tomato Paste
Italian seasoning

Mix together the beef and lamb and then brown it (by adding two tablespoons of olive oil to pan, heating over medium heat until oil is hot then putting beef/lamb mixture in. You might need to do this in several lots depending on the size of pan-if you “crowd” the meat it will tend to steam rather then brown nicely). Stir regularly as it browns so all of meat gets brown and then use a colander or a mesh filter to get rid of all the fat.
Start water boiling to cook potatoes
Clean out pan and add another two tablespoons of oil, heat as before using medium heat and when hot add the chopped onion. Cook with stirring until onion is soft and transparent but not brown. Then add 5-6 cloves of pealed garlic which you have chopped quite fine. Cook for another two minutes then add filtered, browned beef/lamb mixture back into pan with onions and garlic.
Add one and a half cups of wine, one cup of beef or chicken stock, two tablespoon of Tomato paste and a few good shakes of Italian Seasoning or other spices that you fancy oregano, thyme, sage etc.
Cook for about 15 mins adding more wine or water if it seems to be getting dry. You can let it simmer for as long as you need (for me this part was like 45 min. while I got the potatoes ready and cooked)
Season meat to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile peel the potatoes and slice into slices about a quarter of an inch thick. Put into large sauce pan, (if you haven't already, fill pan with water add a good big pinch of salt and bring to boil.)
Let simmer for about 25 mins until potatoes are nice and soft. Filter off water using colander, return potatoes to pan and mash. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, mix in then add some warmed milk, mixing until potatoes are smooth and moist. add salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble Put cooked beef mixture in bottom of oven proof casserole dish. Spoon mashed potatoes on top and using back of a fork cover evenly the whole dish with the potato mixture.

Cook at 350 in oven for 20-30 mins then take out and sprinkle very sharp, white grated cheddar cheese on top. Return to oven; adjust shelf so top of shepherds pie is about an inch and a half from element. Broil until cheese is melted, bubbly and nicely browned.
After this step I added tomatos on top before serving...another variation is to add carrots and or peas in with the beef mixtures as it's simmering.

Take out, serve immediately or let cool and then cover with foil and keep in fridge overnight. Take out from fridge one and a half hours before wanting to serve it. Heat oven to 350 put shepherds pie in and reheat until hot all the way through (about 50 minutes).

We ate this for over a week and it still tasted great!!!
Thanks Ernie for such a great recipe!

Don't forget to add your own favorite recipe by using the comment button below...thanks!


  1. What kind of recipes to you want?

  2. Mostly dinnerish meals...but I'm also interested in what you remember your boys (or anyone else's kids) eating most when they were right around one...Esme eats mosly what we do but lunches are hard for some reason...

  3. Jennye, you forgot to add Ernie's phone number!
    Have you been to Veronica's blog? Lot's of recipe's-most very straightforward. It's at
    My specialty: Egg in a Hole.
    Cut a circle in a slice of bread with the top of a wineglass. Butter well one side of the bread and toast it in a skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Put a dab of butter in the hole and crack an egg in there. Cook about 90 seconds and flip the whole thing over to toast the other side for about 2 more minutes. Meanwhile, toast the buttered round of bread in the same skillet alongside. Salt and Pepper to taste. Kids-and grownups- like this.
    I love the pictures, keep 'em coming.
    Love, B.

  4. My blog has some recipes here and there, too, but I"ll think for you. Are you thinking meaty or veggie recipes?

    Enzo does a lot of avocado, green smoothies (kale, frozen pineapple, yogurt or soy milk, and a banana), veggie soups, beans, and rice. Does Esme like beans? Oh- and scrambled eggs or egg yolks from my hard boiled eggs.

  5. Esme will eat anything...and I mean that which is really helpful. I think the real problem is that I'm not a lunch eater so thinking of what to make her is tricky...the smoothie idea is a good one! Meaty or Veggie are both good...what's your favorite thing to make? What would you share with others if someone was coming to dinner?

  6. Hmmm...tacos make veggies and meaties both happy, and they're easy. Meat and spices or beans and spices and then cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, olives, peppers. I make veg chili a lot, and I make a huge crock pot of it, because it freezes so well. Then I can just make it w/ pasta (which is Atticus-friendly) and add cheese or plain yogurt. Someone asked for my chili recipe recently so I'll post it on my blog soon. I also like my butternut squash soup, which I often make when we have potlucks, because it's vegan and also has no allergens in it (we have a few friends w/ different allergies). Served with fresh bread, maybe slices of good cheese, and salad, it makes a great meal. That's on my blog, too.

    I usually take care of the veggie cooking. Chris does most of the meaty cooking. But he'll never share the secret recipe in his meatballs.

    Soon i'm going to do a post where I talk about my favorite cookbooks, too.