Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Awesomebella Cooks- SHEPHERD'S PIE!

Yesterday was the first official "Awesomebella cooks awesomefood on awesomemondays." (see that post to figure out what on earth I speak of...)

 look like a lot of chairs to you? This is minus my mom (who was out last night) and the baby's highchair. Dinner time in my family is cozy to say the least...

Yesterday I tackled Shepherd's Pie. First success of many to come!

Shepherd's pie is basically a load of vegetables in a pan, mixed with some sort of meat (usually lamb or beef) and topped with mashed potatoes (not really a PIE, but that is what it is called). Prior to this tackling I looked around on the internet trying to find a recipe I wanted to follow, but true to my nature I never ended up printing one out.  I skimmed a bunch, but I wound up just getting ideas and then winging it on my own. This is what I do. My (middle) name is Kiss. Ask my family, it is a genetic thing.

So. Here is what I did. It may have been totally wrong, but everyone agreed it tasted good at the end so...whatever.

**please keep in mind as you look at this recipe that I am cooking for a family of 10, who can eat a lot and likes leftovers.**

THE MEAT! (which only went into one pan, the other was just veggies for the vegetarian peeps such as me.)

Overnight (Sunday, the day before), in the Crock Pot, a package of  Stew Beef (chunks of beef typically used in stew, and hence the name) was cooked in some red wine.
 This is said meat on Monday after cooking overnight. 
Threw some salt and pepper on it, along with an Ethiopian spice blend (varying in hotness; this was mild) known as Berbere (since the coming of my 13 year old Ethiopian sister we have been putting it on ...almost everything.). Then I pretty much just broke it apart with a metal spoon and set it aside to await entrance into the pie.

 *this goes on the pie very last, but I had to make them first as they take a while... This is also where I preheated my oven to 350. 

I washed and cut up 12 potatoes (which was all that fit into my biggest pan, but I wound up having to make more after as that wasn't enough to cover to pies. But you could cheat and use instant mashed potatoes) Put them into some water, and brought them to a boil. They boiled until...I could stick a fork in 'em (didn't time it... :/). Then I drained them, let them cook, took the peels off with a knife (apparently they are best this way, because they don't get water logged?), cut them into smaller pieces, added hot water (instead of milk. Milk is better but I have a sister with a dairy allergy), a tablespoon of butter (dairy free kind), a 1/2 tablespoon of bullion paste, salt, pepper, and a shake of garlic powder. Mashed with one of those tedious hand masher things. Took a while to get them as smooth as I wanted them, but boy were they tasty when I was done...


I chopped up:
1 (small) yellow onion
1/2 red onion (because it was in the fridge, waiting to be used.)
5 carrots
5 stalks of celery
6 cloves of garlic (I'm half Italian. That is nothing)

And added in:
2 cups of frozen peas
2 1/2 (ish...) cups of frozen corn (grown on my grandparents farm!)

All of that went into a ginormous pan on the stove. In the pan was some olive oil, a tablespoon of bullion paste (vegetarian! made of...mushrooms or something?), a half cup of water and these spices (which I didn't really measure but for your sake I will estimate and say that I did): 1 tablespoon of thyme, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon of Berbere (the Ethiopian stuff again), 1/2 tablespoon of rosemary and 1/2 tablespoon of parsley.
That all cooked on medium for about 15 minutes (you are trying to partially cook them so they aren't totally crunchy. They will go into the oven and finish cooking later).

I took 2 very large casserole pans and spread my veggies evenly in both. In one I added my meat (and by my I mean the meat I was not eating because I don't do that but everyone else besides my mom does...) and mixed it in with the veggies.
On top of both pans I plopped my mashed potatoes and spread them around until there was an even layer of deliciousness covering the whole "pie." (For added deliciousness I sprinkled cheddar cheese on the vegetarian pie. The meat one when without for the allergic sister...) Topped off with salt and pepper!

That went into my (preheated) 350 degree oven for around 20 minutes (or until my dad came home from work). And then we ATE! Delectable shepherd's pie, served with (premade/frozen) dinner rolls!

Everyone one agreed dinner was super delicious. The pie pictured above is mine (yes, I had 2 large servings. I won't lie to you...). My dad + 7 kids wiped out the other one with meat in it completely.

I must say, I feel rather accomplished. And I actually really enjoyed cooking! Hmmm...

What's on the menu next {awesome}Monday? Stay tuned!


Paige said...

I love Shepherd's Pie. My sister makes a great one, too! Dinner's with people squeezed in are the best--we had ten in my family eating together on any given night growing up, with invariably 6-7 extra people at least once a week if not more. It makes eating so much more exciting :)

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Rachel at The Inspired House.org said...

Wow that looks delish! I'm going to need to try this recipe!!


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