I wish I were in Hogwarts right now. Unfortunately, I am 21 years old and have yet to receive my letter. So it is with much sadness that I must come to terms with the fact that I will never walk amongst the talking portraits, climb the changing staircases, or eat at the Great Hall. While I have no house elves to magically cast food upwards from the kitchens to the tables, there is no reason why I can’t bring a little British fare into my life every now and then. What better way to start than with homemade Shepherd’s Pie?
A comforting dish (and a hot favorite of Ron Weasley’s, especially in fan fiction for some reason), it’s ideal for any family gathering. Last night we had a house full and Shepherd’s Pie was the perfect pick.
Ingredients for Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 2 tbs. butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbs. flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 can tomatoes, diced
- 1 tbs. thyme
- 1 tbs. rosemary
- 1½ tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 large potatoes
- 2½ cups Cheddar cheese
- garlic salt, oregano, paprika (to add to potatoes)
- sour cream (optional)
Boil the corn and set it aside. While the corn is boiling, chop the onion.
Melt butter in a large skillet and sauté the onions.
It smelled heavenly…
Add the ground beef when the onions turn golden. Despite my having a really large skillet, I underestimated the amount of cooking space that 2 pounds of beef takes up.
Before the pan overloaded, I transferred some of the beef into a smaller pan so that everything could cook evenly. Once the ground beef has started to brown, stir in the garlic, flour, beef broth, tomatoes, herbs, and corn. Don’t overload it— put in one at a time and start with the broth so that everything can cook well.
Careful things don’t start to overflow. If you have two pans, try to spread the ingredients evenly in both pans.
Try not to spill— you will though so have some lysol ready like I did! Use a ladle to transfer the meat to a casserole dish and layer it well.
After the meat is ready, peel and boil the potatoes. Cube them into small pieces and then mash them with a fork or whip them. Add some milk and butter and the following if you wish: garlic salt, oregano, paprika. If you’re going for a very rich mashed potato, add some sour cream. I loaded it with grated cheese that melted easily and made a lovely addition to the potatoes.
Place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I miscalculated and put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. This brought on the first ever fire alarm at my boyfriend’s house caused by me. Mazel Tov! But “it’s okayyyyyyyyyy!” (household joke).
We had the good luck of going to the grocery store right as freshly baked French bread was being laid out for sale. It was so fresh that it was piping hot, even when we brought it home. The smells were phenomenal at this point.
With this, the family broke (French) bread and had a wonderful dinner. It’s no Hogwarts, but it’s one heck of a fantastic substitute!
Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup!