Shepard's Pie for Two Recipe

I love the cooler fall and winter months because they bring with them the ability to cook and eat all those cold weather dishes I love soooo much. Shepard's pie was not something my mother ever made. No, not in our Italian-American home; this was a dish I was introduced to through the school lunch program. I kid you not.

School lunch taught me a lot about the way other Americans were eating. Which is probably why it is the thing I miss the most about school. Of course, this dish is traditionally one that comes from our English counterparts, and for that we thank them.

My version is for two, served individually. This makes a great meal on a cold night, served simply with a nice piece of homemade (or just plain yummy) bread.



For my version I am using about a half pound of venison. Venison is not everyone's cup of tea, and I am hip to that. You can use any red meat variety you enjoy. For example: beef, bison, lamb, ostrich, or veal, or a mix would work just as well! 


Make sure you get it nice and crumbly while it browns. Whenever my husband wants to help and we are browning meat, breaking it up into fine little crumbles is his specialty. 


Meanwhile, while your meat is a-browning, peel and cut up two carrots. I like the rounds, but you can cut 'em any way you like! 


Also, take two potatoes, peel them, quarter them, throw them in a pan and cover them with water. Can you guess what we're doing? If you guessed "boiling them" you win! 

What I like to do is throw the water in and let it come to a boil. Then I set the timer for 15 minutes for small spuds and 20 for the larger ones. Let 'em go! 


Our meat is browned so now we are ready to start adding some veggies. 

We got our carrots. 


Some frozen corn...


And some diced onions! 

Now, I chose to go simple here because I feel like most people will have these veggies on hand. But you can add any veggies you like--green beans, peas, etc. This is your Shepherd's Pie, and you should enjoy it how you like! 


Now it's time to add the spices. I started with salt. 


And worcestershire sauce! [of which I am a very big fan, by the way!] 

Let the veggies and spices cook down and start to get tender about 5-7 minutes. 


A little red wine goes a long way int his recipe and gives it a great flavor. 
Let it reduce a few minutes. And by a few I mean about 2 or 3 minutes. 


Once the wine is reduced, sprinkle your flour over the veggies and stir it up. 



Then pour over your beef broth! 


Mmmmm.... then it's all thick and gravy-ish. Perfection! 



By now your taters are all done. So drain 'em and then add them back to the pot. Add butter and milk. 


And mash! Add a little pepper and salt, too. You want those mashers to be seasoned and yum-tastic! 


Now, divvy up your meat and veggies between two small casserole dishes. I picked up these beauties at the local grocery...fancy, I know. They were cheap and they are also great for French onion soup! 


Top with the mashed potatoes! 

Now throw (okay, don't throw, place) them in the oven until they are bubbly and a little golden! 


Serve some great bread! I made a homemade rosemary bread! 

Shepherd's Pie for Two 

Time: 1 hr | Serves 2 | Difficulty: Medium 

You Will Need:

About 1/2 pound of red meat (venison, lamb, beef--your choice!)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced into quarters 
1/3 cup corn (I use frozen, fresh works too) 
1/2 onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth 
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce 
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of olive oil 
dash of cayenne pepper 
palmful of salt 

Special equipment: two individual casserole dishes. 

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a heavy skillet, add your olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the meat and using a spatula, crumble the meat into uniform bits while it browns, about 5 minutes. 

While meat is browning, add potatoes to a pan and fill with water. Place them on the stove on high and allow them to boil for 15 minutes for smaller taters and 20 minutes for larger ones. 

Meanwhile, your meat will have browned, and it's time to add your veggies and spices! Add the corn, onion and carrot. Give it a stir and then add your cayenne pepper, palmful of salt, worcestershire, and garlic. Stir and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the veggies are starting to get tender. 

Add your wine and allow to reduce for about 2 minutes. 

Sprinkle the flour over top the meat and the veggies and stir to combine. Add the broth and allow everything to come to a boil. It should be a nice thick gravy now. Reduce heat and allow to simmer. 

By now the potatoes should be done. Drain them and return them to the pan. Add the butter and milk to the potatoes. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes up. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

In your two casserole dishes, divvy up the meat and veggies. Top with the mashed potatoes. 

Place both casserole dishes in the oven and cook on 375 for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are goldening and it's bubbly. 

Serve with bread and enjoy! 






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