Shepherd’s Pie mini cakes…St Patrick’s day recap

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Since it was St Patrick’s day this week, we tried to get festive and make some good ole Irish food. Shepherd’s pie was one of my favorite meals growing up. I mean who wouldn’t love a big pile of meat and mashers. This year my husband wanted to make personal pie cakes. We took a risk, considering we were having friends over for dinner, but they turned out AMAZING. We even had enough left over to make one entire large pie. So whether you want to make one large pie, or do the mini cakes like we tried, this recipe below will serve at least 6 (with most likely room for left overs).

Little Ms. Char was very cooperative with company, and went down right as our friends arrived 🙂 That’s always a win! Unfortunately, I didn’t get her a St Patties outfit, mama was slacking! I promise to be more prepared for Easter. We are still waiting for her to roll over again! Lots of side rolls and kicks in the meantime! In anticipation of the first day of spring starting tomorrow (my birthday-yay!), we invested in a jogging stroller. We took her for a spin in her new whip yesterday and she loved it! Pics to come on that!

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Shepherd’s Pie mini cakes:
Ingredients: serves 6

For the filling:

– 2lbs 85% lean ground beef
– 2 large carrots (diced… you want all the veggies around the same side as the corn and peas)
– 3 stalks of celery (diced)
– 1 large sweet onion (diced)
– 1 cup frozen peas
– 1 cup fresh or canned corn
– 3 cloves garlic (diced)
– 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1 small can tomato paste
– 1.5 tbsp fresh thyme
– 1.5 tbxp fresh rosemary (chopped)
– 1 large pinch each nutmeg, cumin, and dill
– 1 cup beef broth
– 1.5 tbsp flour or corn starch
*you could if you wanted to save time, buy a large bag of frozen mixed vegetables instead of buying the fresh vegetables
For the topping:
– 3 yukon gold potatoes (peeled and quartered)
– 2 tbsp butter (or more… more tastes better, but is less healthy!)
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 cup light sour cream
– 1 bunch chives (chopped finely)
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– salt & pepper
For the crust:
– we just buy two pre-made pie crusts and fit them to the molds. obviously you can make your own, but I find it tastes exactly the same and requires 100x more effort.
Instructions for potatoes:
1) Start potatoes first, b/c they take a while. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for 20 mins, or until soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. Drain, add butter, milk, sour cream, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Mash over low heat until smooth. I generally don’t like to use a blender b/c I think it makes the potatoes gummy, but it’s not the end of the world if you want to. If it’s too lumpy, just add a little more milk and/or sour cream, and keep mashing. Also generously add salt & pepper. Add chives and allow to cool.
2) To make those funny little crowns and swirls, we put the potatoes into a large ziploc and cut off the corner, squeezing it out like icing. This was the first time we tried this technique, and I would say there’s potential for improvement…haha.
Instructions for filling:
1) Pre-heat oven to 350.
2) While potatoes are boiling, salt and pepper the ground beef generously, brown in a large frying pan. Beef should be thoroughly cooked; we like it to almost have a little crust on bits of it, to add texture. It should be seasoned well enough to taste good on its own. Remove to a bowl.
3) Add onions and garlic to the same pan, sautee over medium heat w/ a little olive oil until onions are just starting to get soft. Add the rest of the veggies and herbs/spices, continue to sautee over medium heat until carrots and celery just start to soften, 5-7 mins.
4) Return meat to pan w/ veggies, adding the beef broth and flour (sprinkle flower over whole mixture to not create lumps). Stir it all together and let simmer over medium heat until most of the broth is evaporated (approx. 10 mins), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool somewhat (doesn’t need to be cold or anything.)
5) Once somewhat cooled, add the mixture to cold pie crusts, topping with the mashed potatoes.
6) Put in the oven for 30-40 mins (30 for the personal size pies, 40 for the larger pies), or until crust is golden.
*If you wanted to add cheese at the end, you could shred sharp cheddar cheese and sprinkle over!
P.S. do you think we made enough?

big pie

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Happy St Patrick’s Day!!!!
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I turned my head for one second, and this poor gal gashed up her nose! #Mommyfail #Scarsaddcharacter….not! PS Thanks for the outfit Auntie Kendall 🙂
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