I peeled about 6 very large potatoes and cut them into 2″ chunks. I put the potatoes in a kettle of salted water and boiled them until they were fork tender.While the potatoes boiled I chopped onions and diced carrots and fried them in a drizzle of oil in my large nonstick skillet. I salted them lightly. When the carrots were beginning to soften I pushed the carrots and onions aside and browned the beef. I let it cook until it was well-browned on the bottom before I crumbled the beef and cooked it until it was no longer pink. I added a teaspoon of diced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of sage and stirred well. I melted 4 tablespoons of butter into the mixture then added 1/4 cup flour and stirred to coat it all with the flour. I poured 2 cups of beef broth into the skillet and stirred well until the mixture had thickened nicely. Next I added a cup of frozen peas, frozen corn, and a can of green beans. You could use a frozen vegetable mixture but I don’t buy it all mixed. I let the meat mixture bubble and thicken for a few minutes then taste tested for seasoning. I added more salt and a good amount of black pepper and was pleased with the taste.
I drained the potatoes and added heavy cream and 1/4 cup butter then stirred well. I used a hand-held masher and added more cream as necessary as I mashed the potatoes. I taste tested for salt and added a few large pinches and stirred well. Potatoes done, I was ready to assemble my shepherd’s pie.I poured the meat and vegetable mixture into a 9×13-in baking dish and used the spoon to make an even layer. The potatoes went over the meat and vegetables in mounds then I used a knife to smooth them into an even layer as well. I put the dish into a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes. If you’d like you can broil the top for a few minutes to brown it to make it pretty. I chose to serve as is. The flavors were excellent: a blend of ground beef, potatoes and vegetables that are hearty and satisfying. Simple pleasures. I was happy with my return to a family favorite.
3# potatoes; peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 cup onion; chopped
1/2 cup carrots; small dice
1 – 1 1/2# ground beef
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sage
2 cups beef broth
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 can green beans
1 cup heavy cream and more as needed
1/4 cup butter, cut into slices
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Boil potatoes until softened. Mash with 1/4 cup butter cut into slices and 1 cup heavy cream, or more as needed. Salt to taste. Set aside.
To a large nonstick skillet over medium heat add a drizzle of oil. Fry the onions and carrots until the onions are translucent. Push aside the vegetables and fry the ground beef until browned and caramelized in spots. Break up into smaller pieces.
Stir beef and vegetables together and add butter to skillet. When it’s melted add 4 tablespoons flour and stir to coat. Add 2 cups beef broth and stir until thickened. Season with garlic and sage and salt and pepper to taste.
Add frozen peas, corn and green beans to skillet and stir well. Remove from heat.
Spray or grease a baking dish and layer the meat mixture onto the bottom evenly. Spread mashed potatoes on top. Place in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. If you’d like the top browned, broil it for several minutes.