I started simmering the ground beef with a bunch of herbs. I just tossed in some bay leaves, herbs Provence, sage, marjoram, and oregano. Instead of browning the ground beef, I simmered the beef on low heat in some beef stock, ketchup (couldn’t find any tomato paste), and water. I find that by cooking the ground meat in liquids, the end product will become tender.
I knew there were onions in the meat, but I didn’t know if they should’ve been softened or sautéed. I ended up caramelizing the onions in butter (and a bit of vegetable oil), bay leaves, sage, marjoram and oregano. The smell that came off of the caramelized onions reminded me of French onion soup. Yum-eh!
After the meat simmered for a few hours, the mixture was still too watery. I was thinking about adding a slurry of flour and water to tighten things up, but Mom came to the rescue and suggested we add some stale bread. I was hesitant and unsure, but Mom assured me that that’s what she used to do. The bread soaked up all the liquids and thickened the meat filling like a charm.
Richard made some fluffy mashed potatoes and boiled the corn. Lucy put everything together. She was generous with the mashed potatoes and a bit stingy on the meat filling. We sprinkled a bit of paprika on the top and then browned the top under the broiler.
This was such an amazing dinner. The ketchup unnecessary, but since we ate it with ketchup when we were younger, it didn’t seem right to eat Shepherd’s pie without it. With each bite, memories of our childhood came flooding back.
With so many large mouths to feed, there were barely any leftovers left to enjoy the next day. The Shepherd’s pie felt like an aromatic hammer, but it hurt so good!
Schneiders meat pies were on sale the other day and, since I was curious, I bought a box of them to try.
I opened up the box and guess what I saw?
The meat pie was smiling at me - no joke! The more I stared at it, the creepier the smile became. *Shudder*
I got the last laugh though. Nom nom nom! The flaky piecrust was pretty good, but the filling wasn’t that great. Andrew and I snacked on these before going skating on the Rideau Canal.
If you get a chance, skate on the Rideau Canal and enjoy the Winterlude festivities.