Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie
By: Mary Chesney

2 pounds ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups hot mashed potatoes*
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 cloves minced garlic or 2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups vegetables of your choice**
2 cups beef gravy***

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season ground beef with salt and pepper while browning it in a large skillet; drain. Mix potatoes, cream cheese, 1 cup of the shredded cheddar, and garlic until well blended. Stir vegetables and gravy into meat. Spoon into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with potato mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. This can be put together the night before, just add extra baking time,

*The mashed potatoes need to be warm enough to melt the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. You can warm them up in the microwave.

**I get out my measuring dish and just start adding ingredients until I reach 4 cups. The pie in the above pic had onion, green pepper, leftover green beans, leftover peas, and leftover broccoli. Although it would be good with any combination, I would recommend adding chopped onions for sure. It really adds to the flavor. My favorite combination is 2 cups cooked green beans, 1 1/2 cups chopped onions, and 1/2 cup green pepper.

***I use Pioneer Brand Brown Gravy Mix. It is one of the few mixes that makes 2 cups of gravy. You just mix 1/2 cup cold water with the mix while you are bringing 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat, add the mix, and stir until slightly thickened. Set aside until ready to mix with the vegetables and meat.

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