Trying to clean out the freezer a bit, needing room for all the holiday goodies. I wanted something rustic and comforting. A while back I made a tater-tot casserole, something I grew up with and adored. Liked how the bottom came out but wasn't pleased with the tots, interestingly enough. It really is best with Ore-Ida tots but we can't get those because of the ingredients; the acceptable brand just isn't the same. So that's out. What else do the girls like? Mashed potatoes. Bingo, shepherd's pie it is. I combined a couple recipes to make it without the canned soup. I am very happy with how it turned out, S even requested seconds. Hubby is not as much a casserole guy so this didn't make the leftovers stand, but he did enjoy a huge helping with a thumbs up. And I have been enjoying the leftovers for lunches this week. Use more or less meat depending on how frugal you wish to be, or make up the difference with mushrooms. Leftover roast, shredded, would be an awesome addition to the filling as well. You can make it in a deep dish pie plate or a 9x13" baking dish, depending on how deep you want it to be. I made mine in a pie dish; let me go measure... 10-inch.
1-1½ lb ground beef (grass fed if you can get it)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chopped mushrooms, optional
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp light spelt flour
1 cup milk
3 dashes Tabasco
1 can green beans (or tender cooked green beans)
¼ cup shredded Parmesan
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar (or more Parmesan if you prefer)
2 lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
5 cloves garlic, pressed
butter ~ 2-3 tbsp
whole milk ~ ½-¾ cup
fresh ground pepper
Begin browning ground beef in a large pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add carrot and onion and cook until beef is no longer pink. Add any leftovers at this point. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook another minute or two. Scrape into baking dish and set aside. (Start boiling the potatoes while making the sauce - 15 minutes. Lightly salt and pepper the water.) Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In same pan as the ground beef, melt butter and stir in flour. Cook for a minute, then slowly add milk. Whisk and cook for a few minutes until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and the Tabasco. Stir in the desired cheeses until melted. Taste and salt if necessary. Stir in green beans. Pour on top of ground beef mixture. You do not have to combine it. Just spread it over top.
Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash with butter and milk, the consistency should be between fluffy and creamy. More on the creamy side. Stir in the garlic and season to taste with salt and plenty of pepper. Spread over the filling, close to the edges. You don't have to seal it.
Bake at 350ºF for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is lightly browned on the peaks and the sauce is starting to bubble up around the edges. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve as a one dish meal or add a side salad of greens or apple carrot slaw.