Combating a Blah, Cold Day—Shepherd’s Pie

I heard on the news this morning that today is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. Most people are heading back to work or school, and the reality of those New Year’s resolutions comes crashing down. I understand the feeling—I didn’t make it 15 minutes into the new workout DVD before I was crying “uncle.” I’ll stick to the treadmill tomorrow, because my muscles feel like jello and I think I need to start smaller in my quest to get less jiggley.

Anyway, one of the best ways to combat a bad day is some serious comfort food, which is sure to perk up the brood as they stumble in from a long day at work and school. So, how about a super-easy Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd's Pie

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (6 oz)tomato paste
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef or lamb
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz)beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • Mashed Potatoes (however you make them, just make enough to spread over the top of a 9×13 casserole)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.
  2. Add butter and oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic until tender for about 7 to 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables have softened and start to brown a little, add the tomato paste and mix evenly. Add the ground beef and cook until beef is no longer pink about 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Season again with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Mix in peas.
  3. Transfer mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and spread evenly. Place mashed potatoes on top of ground beef mixture and spread out evenly, then cover with cheese. Place the dish into the pre-heated oven and cook until cheese is melted and meat mixture is bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Servings: 6

I paired this with the Macaroni Grill inspired bread and some steamed broccoli and called it a day. Look at the bright side—if today really is the most depressing day of the year, we’re just about to put the worst of it behind us, right?

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