I've been making this recipe for Shepherd's Pie for years. It was one of the first recipes I made from watching Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meal show on Food Network. Before this recipe I had heard of Shepherd's Pie, but I had never made it myself. In fact, I remember that my friend Tara use to make her own version of this meal, with tomato sauce in it, and topped with a layer of cheese.
However, this is the only version I know how to make. It is very good, and very comforting on a cool night. It also freezes very well, so if you want to make a double batch, you can bake one and pop the other in the freezer for another time.
(for the potato topping)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper
(for the meat mixture)
1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I use ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
Alrighty. Brown your meat and onions and carrots in a frying pan. Cook until the onions and carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and stir for a minute or two over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and Worcestershire Sauce. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Mixture should have thickened up. Add to the meat mixture and stir in peas. Place this mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish.
While the meat mixture is cooking, boil your potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain water, and add in your sour cream, egg yolk, cream, and salt and pepper. Mash together. Spoon potatoes over the meat mixture evenly, then sprinkle the top with paprika.
Bake at 450 for about 15-20 minutes. You just want to get it all heated through and the top to be lightly browned. That's it. If you had leftover mashed potatoes from a previous meal, they would work just fine for this meal. Just scoop the leftover potatoes over the meat mixture instead of making more. If you are going to freeze this, wrap it in aluminum foil very well to prevent freezer burn. Remove from freezer 24 hours before you want to bake it, letting it thaw out in the fridge. Cook time will be a bit longer, since the meal is cold. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, then you can boost up the heat to brown the top before you serve it. Just use your judgement on cooking time, to make sure it's heated through.