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As the weather gets colder (it’s even getting colder here in NC!) I start to rotate in some of my husband’s favorite comfort foods like Shepard’s Pie. Not only did this dish satisfy us on a colder night this week, but it really reminded  us of home… The restaurant that we had our wedding rehearsal dinner at was an Irish Pub in Rochester, NY that has the most  amazing Shepard’s Pie. I asked the chef what his secret ingredients were and one ingredient is ketchup. So, I’ve incorporated ketchup into my recipe in an effort to get it tasting as close to restaurant quality as I can get it.

This recipe is pretty much as simple as you can get in terms of making Shepard’s Pie. I used a can of corn for the veggies because that’s what I had in the cupboard but you could use a bag of frozen mixed corn, carrots, peas and green beans for more variety. Also, if you are tight on  time, instead of making mashed potatoes you could always use instant potatoes. I just like to make my own potatoes because then I know exactly what’s in them.

One final note is that I use ground beef  in this dish instead of the more traditional lamb. You could easily use ground lamb in the place of ground beef if you’d like to. They cook very similarly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 cups thawed corn or mixed vegetable blend
  • 1 cup reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T milk
  • Salt and pepper to your taste

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400. Get a stock pot of 4 cups of water boiling for  your potatoes. Peel  potatoes and chop into quarters. Boil for about 20 minutes, until soft,  or until a knife slides out smoothly when pricked.

2) Heat oil in a large sauce pan on medium high heat. Add minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, or  until slightly browned. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add corn and cook for about 2 minutes, just to heat through.

3) Reduce heat to medium. Push veggies to the outer edges of the pan, making a large veggie ring. Add ground beef to the center of the pan and cook until done – no more pink! Once beef is cooked, add salt and pepper to your taste and then combine with veggies. Cook meat and veggie mixture for about 2 minutes to combine flavors.

4) In a small bowl, mix the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup until well incorporated. Add this liquid mixture to the beef and veggies. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked down. You don’t want the meat to get dry, but you want it to take on the flavors of the liquids.

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5) While the meat and veggies are cooking down, and while your potatoes are still hot, make your mashed potatoes. In a medium bowl, add cooked potatoes, milk and butter. Mash with a potato masher until the butter is well incorporated and the potatoes are smooth. Add salt and pepper to  your taste.

6) Finally, assemble your Shepard’s Pie. Add the meat mixture to a large casserole dish, then spread your potatoes over the top of the meat mixture. Make sure to leave some peaks in your potatoes so they brown up nicely in the oven. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes start to brown on top and the meat mixture is bubbling.

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