9-12: Shepherd’s Pie

Here’s one with my mom’s writing on it. 9-12: Shepherd’s Pie promises to be a new take on an old classic and I had a LOT of potatoes to get rid of. Don’t buy a 20-lb bag of potatoes from Costco because it’s “such a good deal”.

I can’t say I’m particularly a fan of shepherd’s pie, but I had all the ingredients and a lot of potatoes to burn up. It stores/freezes well, and this version uses red peppers and beef instead of carrots/peas/corn and lamb (that’s why it’s shepherd’s pie–because of the sheep/lamb). ?

Obviously my mom made this before (in November of 1993, judging by her notes), but she substituted chicken and veggies for the beef, as she tends to do. I’m assuming she used different veggies besides red peppers, she doesn’t like those either. Why would she make this? Oh well, she seemed to have liked it, based on her notes.

Ingredients. They don’t specify what kind of vinegar to use, so I went with apple cider vinegar–I thought it’d go the best with the flavors of the pie. I didn’t have Cheddar available, so I went with Swiss instead.

Potato peeling. If you peel into the sink, put a paper towel down to catch the peelings. Easy clean-up, and none go down the sink. Sinks don’t like potato peels.

Roughly cut for boiling. They suggest wedges, but I like them in about 1″-2″ cubes.

Here’s an easy way to do pepper strips. Cut the top and bottom off the pepper, pulling out the seeds/core. Slice through the big pepper cylinder-shape on one side, and it’ll fold/roll out into the shape above. Now, , vertically cut strips off of this in whatever width you like. Easy!

Make sure to take the inner membranes off the pepper strips–it makes them look nicer.

Mincing garlic cloves. See how much nicer those pepper strips look without the membranes?

Non-wedges are in the pot ready to boil. This is a 3.5 quart pot, and it’s the biggest one I have after my 12-qt stockpot (too big for this). 3.5 is too small too, I should have used a 6-8 qt to have enough room–put it on the shopping list.

Browned the meat, added the veggies, spices, & vinegar.

Drained off the water & mashed the potatoes right in the pot–why get another bowl dirty?

These were most likely going to be eaten as reheated lunch portions, so instead of baking it all together, I split it off into Pyrex storage containers to bake individually–one reason glass makes better storage than plastic.

Getting fancy with my potato topping–you couldn’t even see it under the cheese. 🙁

After baking–now each one is just like brand new, instead of scooped-out leftovers. Make sure to leave room on top for expansion, otherwise your lids won’t fit.

One more view–glass makes it easy to see the layers. These refrigerated and reheated well–a good idea for making a week of lunches for school or work?

Grade: A-