Sunday, January 06, 2008

Easy Shepherd's Pie

The shepherd's pie turned out so well last night that I thought I'd share the recipe. This is not haute cuisine by any stretch of the imagination - just good, old fashioned comfort food. And it's easy too, which counts for something.

Jonathan's Shepherd's Pie


2/3 lb ground beef
1/2 c chopped onion
3 T Lea & Perrins ® Worcestershire Sauce
1 can Veg-All ® mixed vegetables
1 c Full-bodied red wine (I used a Yellow-Tail ® Cabernet Sauvignon, but a Merlot would do nicely too.)
1 can Campbell's ® Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salt to taste
3 c Idaho Spuds® prepared according to the directions (dry measure)
3 T Duke's ® Mayonnaise


Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a skillet, brown the hamburger and onion. Drain off any excess grease. Add the Worcestershire sauce, the wine, and the mixed vegetables with the juice. Let the liquid cook down a bit. Add the soup and mix well. Salt to your taste. Let it simmer a little bit. Pour into a deep baking dish. Prepare the potatoes according to the directions, add the mayonnaise and mix well. Top the hamburger mixture with the potatoes and bake for 1 hour. If the potatoes aren't golden brown at the end of the hour turn on the broiler and let it brown for a couple minutes. (But keep a close eye on them - they will brown quickly under the broiler!) That's all there is to it.

Serves 4-6 (depending on appetite)

Of course you can substitute freshly cooked vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas, potatoes, celery), fresh mashed potatoes, and brands other than the ones mentioned in this recipe. I expect that fresh would make a difference in the taste, but for the time and energy involved in preparing this dish I think it tastes pretty darn good.

I would avoid substituting a salad dressing like Miracle Whip ® if (heaven help you) you can't get Duke's ® mayonnaise where you live. Hellmann's ® would be a much better substitute. I don't think that French's ® Worcestershire Sauce would be a good substitution either. It tastes completely different than the Lea & Perrin's ® version. You could also leave out the wine, but you will end up with a completely different taste.

I hope you enjoy it. It passed the 6-year-old niece test! If you try it, let me know how it goes with your family.

Updated March 27, 2008:
I have modified the recipe based on my experience with it. I have found that it works MUCH better to put the wine in before the soup and let the liquid cook down a little bit. It will shorten the preparation time considerably and make it a lot less messy.

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