Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

I know that most people have their version of Shepherd's Pie.  Basically, meat and veggies with some sauce/gravy, covered in mashed potatoes.  My mother's was done using Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup (I know it is bad for you, but it tastes so good!) for the sauce.  Always Campbell's Cream of Mushroom, all others just tasted wrong!  It is one of my favorite meals and it was an easy meal my kids LOVED.  Then came in came Celiacs and out went casseroles.  For the most part I wasn't a casserole maker to begin with, but I had a few staples and this was one.  As with most starting out with gluten free cooking I shied away from all things that were inherently gluteny (I know it isn't a word, but it works so well).  Eventually, I started experimenting, but this was still a recipe I stayed away from.  How could it possibly be as good.  After a year or so I braved this dish.  At the time my daughter was off dairy and eating soy milk which I couldn't stand (thankfully she liked) so I decided to cook all the components and then right before adding the sauce, I pulled a little bit of the meat and veggie mixture out and added a mushroom white sauce I made from scratch.  Thankfully, she loved it.  I personally find it yummier now that I can use regular milk for the sauce, but I have to admit I still make two dishes and use Campbell's soup for our sauce and a homemade GF sauce for hers.  Not really sure why, I really like the sauce I make for my daughter, I always make extra to use as gravy over some extra mashed potatoes. I think it is, mostly, because for me Shepherd's Pie reminds me of home and of my mom.  It is my ultimate comfort food.  Hopefully, for my daughter this recipe will do the same for her.  This recipe makes about 5-6 servings depending on how much you want.

Shepherd's Pie (printer friendly)
4-5 lg potatoes
milk & butter for mashed potatoes
1 lb hamburger or ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced and divided
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained and reserving the liquid.
1 can green beans, drained
salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Sauce (recipe below)

1. Cut up the potatoes into about 1/2"-3/4" cubes and boil in salted water until soft, but not mushy.

2. Meanwhile, in an oven proof skillet, brown the meat with the onion, reserving about 1 Tbsp of onion for the sauce.

When the meat is mostly cooked add the mushrooms.

When fully cooked add the green beans and bring to a boil.

Add enough of the sauce to make it really thick, it probably won't take all the sauce.

Cover with mashed potatoes,

leaving a hole down to the sauce to allow the steam to escape and not boil over (or at least not as much).

3. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Serve.  YUM!

Mushroom sauce
2 T butter or oil
2 T diced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 T potato flour
Reserved mushroom liquid
Milk (choose your favorite, I prefer soy)
1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil

1. In a small pan melt butter.  Saute onions until lightly browned. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and potato flour.

Stir until lightly brown and somewhat smooth.  It might be a little crumbly

2. Add milk to mushroom liquid to equal 1 C and add Worcestershire sauce and basil.  Pour a little at a time into pan making sure to fully mix in the onion/flour mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until thick.

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