Friday, December 30, 2011

Leftover Mashed Potatoes = Shepherd's Pie

Do you ever wonder what to do with leftover mashed potatoes?  You can surely make some potato pancakes, but this recipe is so much better.  It's simply a meat pie with a mashed potato crust.  Also, known as Cottage Pie, it has many variations especially when it comes to the meat selection.  Don't feel limited by what I put in it.  Traditionally, it was made with lamb and those odd looking potatoes which were introduced to England from the "New World".  Of course, then the French , my ancestors, got a hold of the concept and sprinkled in some sweet and savory spices into their version of the meat pie.  (Recipe this Winter)

Shepherd's Pie

1/2 lb. hamburger meat

1/2 onion, chopped  See NOTES.

1 clove garlic, minced

1 peeled carrot, sliced thinly

1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup red wine or beef broth

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

grated cheese and paprika for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet crumble and brown the meat.  Add the onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms and oil.  Cook through for 10 minutes on medium heat.  Add the broth or wine and simmer for 15 minutes or less.  Meanwhile reheat the mashed potatoes in a small pan or microwave.  (so they will be spreadable)  You may need to add additional liquid, ie. milk or water to soften them up.

In a 2 qt casserole dish put the meat mixture on the bottom and spread the potatoes on top.  Garnish with cheese and paprika for color.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.  If you want a crustier finish you can broil the top for a few minutes.

NOTES: For the onion I had leftover honey glazed red onions.  In my opinion, this was the "secret ingredient"  The recipe will be one of the next posts.  It's worth it to make these onions ahead of time and serve them on sandwiches, pasta or in shepherd's pie! 

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