Tomorrow I am leaving for my annual vacation. Starting in 2013 I decided to take an extended weekend away from my kids and darling spouse to enjoy alone time. During this weekend I focus and re-center myself. This quiet time gives me moments to concentrate on the things around me. Albeit I am going to one of the busiest cities in the U.S. NYC has been my vacation spot 3 times now and I thoroughly enjoy it. I will take my time at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and eat cupcakes and sushi at Dean and Deluca. These little moments that are usually taken for granted will be an indulgence and as close to luxury as I can get. It also gives me a few days to miss my amazing daughters. I love being a stay at home mom and homeschooling but I think it’s healthy for all of us that I take a mini break. The reunion is almost as delightful as the vacation.
But, I can’t leave my babies without making a special dish. Instead of spending my morning packing I will bake them a Shepherd’s Pie. Shepherd’s Pie is originally an English dish, traditionally made with lamb or mutton. But you can make it with beef or in my kitchen I use ground turkey. In England the beef version is called a Cottage Pie and I am sure they would call the one made with turkey something more fowl. It’s a wonderful way to get vegetables and meat into one easy dish. This is my husband’s top 5 in comfort foods.
For the potatoes:
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (3-4 large)
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
For the meat filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, lamb or turkey
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups chopped vegetables – corn, peas, and carrots or use a frozen vegetable mix
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup beef or chicken broth
- 1 cup of Parmesan or cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Peel and quarter potatoes. Boil in salted water until just tender. Once done, mix 1/2 and 1/2 egg, salt, pepper and butter to potatoes and whip. I am not too particular about small lumps because once it is on the meat filling and baked they aren’t noticeable while eating.
3. Warm olive oil in pan, brown meat with onions and garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
4. Add vegetables and cook until slightly tender. Mix in broth, black pepper and salt.
5. Once combined and thoroughly cooked add meat mixture to a large baking dish. Top with 1/2 cup of cheese (optional) and spread whipped potatoes on top. Sprinkle remaining cheese (optional) on top of potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly.
Thank you for reading my blog and allowing me to share my food journal with you. Our natural state of being is joy, and it takes so much energy to think negative thoughts., to speak negative words, and to feel miserable. The easy path is good thoughts, good words and good deeds. Take the path and allow the joy to flow.