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EZ Recipes For The Cooking Impared #1 Shepherd's Pie (Sort of...)

Updated on March 4, 2011
Be not afraid...
Be not afraid...
This one's for us...
This one's for us...

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.

Be happy...
Be happy...

You will need:

A) Food…

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)

Season with abandon...
Season with abandon...

D) Instructions…

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

Should look something like this...
Should look something like this...

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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    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      To be honest. My cooking-for-one has become so simplified, I just seldom face a recipe, though I've always been a great cook, both in following the instructions and in creative cooking. I can still rally it if needed. But now I hardly care, so long as I am fed (by by own efforts exclusively) a healthy diet every day to sustain me so I still have time & drive to write and even play the piano, and maybe one of these days, paint a few new pictures. And, of course- the TDLs (tiresome details of living)- I keep medical TDLs at minimum, though, so that's a better feeling than a fabulous gourmet accomplishment.sigh.

      I do always gobble up your wisdom though!

    • ChrisLincoln profile image

      ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California


      If you try this one - I hope it doesn't disappoint.

      Thanks for reading, for commenting and the follow, much appreciated


      You got the sneak peak.

      You Scissors, (or paper, whatever...)

      Benjamin G

      Good point on the degree thing. I was trying to be as untechnical as possible and was going to go with "put it on whatever the middle heat is on your oven". I forget, as I'm writing in the US, that the entire rest of the world uses metric. (As a math teacher over here I've railed on that topic for years! Yes we still use inches and lbs!)

      Thanks for reading, and taking the time to comment,


    • Benjamin G profile image

      Benjamin G 6 years ago from Australia

      Nice hub, I like how you added some possible variations to your recipe at the end. Once small problem, some novice cooks might not know whether you mean degrees celsius or degrees fahrenheit. Obviously you mean degrees fahrenheit in this instance, but it might be wise to put the equivilant temperature in degrees celsius in brackets next to it, just to clear up any confusion.

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 6 years ago from Indiana

      Yeah! I'm bookmarking all of these!

      You ROCK!

    • blackjava profile image

      blackjava 6 years ago from Canada

      Hey Chris

      Great hub. Love the cartoons. I love shepherds pie.

    • ChrisLincoln profile image

      ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California


      Thanks for reading!


    • Jane Bovary profile image

      Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

      Not TOO straight I see! That is a great recipe for the totally slack cook. Well done. (Or should that be medium rare?)