A funny thing happened last Christmas when I was trying to come up with dinners the family would like.
I get tired of making the same things over and over again, though everyone insists they like lasagna and enchiladas and meatballs. Maybe they are just being polite. Maybe they long for a change. Maybe they wish Mom would–please God–make something else.
Banjo Man suggested a Blast From the Past, Shepherd’s Pie, something I made when the kids were all home and around the dining room table every night.
So I did and it was such a hit! The Funny Grandson was suspicious at first and balked at eating the unknown casserole, but he choked it down and later admitted it was “okay”.
The rest of the family had seconds and fought over the leftovers.
So during March’s visit, I made another shepherd’s pie. It disappeared quickly, much to Will’s disappointment. It turned out to be the perfect lunch for him to take to work and heat up in “the pit” at Black’s.
The Funny Grandson shoveled in two helpings and gave it an enthusiastic rating of “45 thumbs up”.
We all fought over the leftovers.
So I made another one.
And then I got sick, so all cooking came to a screeching halt. The day before I finally headed home, Will picked up the ingredients for a third pie. I felt well enough to make another one, so here it is.
The recipe is embarrassingly simple, but if you want to relive the 1980’s, be my guest.
2 pounds of lean hamburger
2 packets of taco seasoning
water (follow the directions on the seasoning packet).
Brown the hamburger, drain the grease, add the packets and follow the directions on the packet. Simmer for 10 minutes or so.
Press into a 13 x 9 pan.
For the mashed potatoes, follow the directions on the instant potato box. I use 6 cups water, 3 cups milk, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 stick butter. And add 6 cups of potato flakes. Follow the directions on the box. I also stir in an 8 oz package of cream cheese (cubed) to give the potatoes more body and flavor, but that’s optional. It melts nicely when you stir it in with half of the flakes before adding the rest of the flakes.
Spread the potatoes on top of the meat. Then I shred about a cup of cheddar cheese and sprinkle on top.
Bake uncovered at 350 for about 45 minutes, until hot and the cheese has melted.
I know some people add corn to the burger, but when the kids were small they liked their corn “on the side”. I served this year’s Shepherd’s Pie with fancy green salads instead of a vegetable.
Just put this in the “Comfort Food” category.