EZ Recipes For The Cooking Impared #1 Shepherd's Pie (Sort of...)
Shepherd’s Pie (Sort of…)
If you cook because you have to, or need to, and feel like cookbooks were written in some strange code, designed to baffle and intimidate, this is my attempt to hubhelp…
First, the measurements are all very approximate, which means that, as you cook, taste to see if it has remained edible. Trial and error (even the best cooks make mistakes) works, and after a couple of tries you should have a sense of what works for you.
I learned to cook due to: 1) hunger, and a lack of anyone else to fix that for me, and 2) a dating strategy as a student, many, many years ago.
So let's try one.
You will need:
1) A can (or two) of beef stew
2) A packet of mashed potatoes
3) Ready grated cheese
4) Butter, seems like butter, or sour cream
B) Stuff to make food in…
1) Pyrex or crockery bowl that can go in the oven
2) Bowl to mix the potatoes in
3) Thing to mix the potatoes with (big fork will do)
C) Oven (Microwave can* work, but not as good if you want nice crispy bits)
1) Turn oven on while you prepare, about 325 degrees will do fine
2) Open can(s) of stew
3) Put in Pyrex dish or bowl
4) Stir it a bit to move pieces around
5) Could add a little pepper here if you like
6) Put packet of potato powder into mixing bowl
7) Add water, or milk, or both, a little at a time
8) Leave it on the dry side
9) If too sloppy, add more potato mix
10) Spread over stew as a potato layer
11) Sprinkle grated cheese over top
12) Stick in oven for about 20 minutes
E) Cooking part…
1) Check that the top of the potato/cheese is not burning
2) Brown is good, crispy on top is what you are aiming for
3) The juices from the stew mix will have made the rest of the mash more sloppy
4) Remove with care (it will be hot!)
5) Serve in bowls with soup spoons
F) Could do’s…
1) Add frozen peas, or frozen peas and carrots into stew mix
2) Use all-beef chili for a more savory dish
3) Use minced beef instead of stew (tends to be a little bland, add plenty of spices - the mix you put on steaks is a good all-rounder), you may need to cook for longer (or precook quickly in a frying pan)
4) *Microwave can work, but the top will not get crispy unless you put it under a broiler, and it may not cook evenly (The middle will be scalding and the outsides cold)
Eat and enjoy. If it’s not quite how you would like it, play with the ingredients until you have something you have invented, and like.
(“Real” Shepherd’s pie uses bits of mutton (or lamb) and is cooked slowly, for a very long time, as the mutton can be both tough and greasy. The mashed potatoes would soak up the grease as it all cooked. It is very much an acquired taste.)
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