Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Shepherd’s Pie

Christmas Shepherd’s Pie


Beef Filling:
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
• 16 ounces canned tomato sauce
• 1 1/2 cups cooked mixed vegetables (peas, diced carrots and corn)
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mashed Potatoes:
• 5 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
• 1/2 cups milk
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cornbread Crust:
• 1 (12-ounces) boxed cornbread mix

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in vegetable oil. When the onion is soft, add the ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon and brown. Stir in tomato sauce and mixed vegetables. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the potatoes about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well and return to the pot. Whip the potatoes with an electric mixer until moderately smooth. Add milk, butter and sour cream and mix well. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Adjust consistency with more milk, if desired.
Follow directions on box to make cornbread batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease 6 (8-ounce) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.
Spoon the mashed potatoes into the bottoms of each prepared ramekin, spreading them evenly with a rubber spatula. Then add the meat filling, spreading that evenly over the mashed potatoes. Pour the cornbread batter evenly over the meat layer in each ramekin.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the cornbread is cooked through and golden on top.

Our modification: The recipe calls for putting cornbread batter on top and baking. Instead we made the cornbread, crumbled it, sauteed with butter and used that as a topping. In that case everything is already cooked and you just need to bake until warmed through. Approximately 30 minutes should be enough for a casserole with this pre-cooked topping. 20 minutes if you're still using ramekins.

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