Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cheddar Topped Shepherd's Pie

I love one-dish meals! They are so versatile. Often, they are time saving, they offer less clean-up for the cook and they're great for busy weeknights. I won't lie, it has taken my kids some time and maturation to learn to like or at least try these types of meals, but more often than not, they end up really liking it.

I have always loved shepherd's pie. To me, it's one of the ultimate comfort foods. But, I've never fixed it for my family because only a few of us are mashed potato fans. When I saw this recipe that added sharp cheddar cheese to the potatoes, I knew I had to give it a try. The kids LOVE anything drowned in cheese. This did not disappoint! There is cheese stirred into the potatoes and then the entire dish is covered with more cheese that becomes a beautiful, delicious crisp topping to an already wonderful meal! Yum!

This would be a great dish to serve if you're planning on hosting family and friends over the holiday season because it can be made up to a day ahead of time and refrigerated separately. What a great time-saver for the busy hostess! This was also one of our "co-op" meals that was shared with my friend Sarah and her family. :)

From the heart of my kitchen to yours,  may your experience be fun and the food always flavorful. Enjoy!

Cheddar Topped Shepherd's Pie

2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced or cubed
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 1 inch with salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, 15-20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.

3. Drain potatoes; return to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add milk and 1cup of cheese. Mash until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

4. Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes. (If topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Source: I can't remember where I copied this recipe from.


Michelle said...


Visiting from my SITS day, a LONG time ago. Looks like I picked a good day.

HoneyB said...

I have bookmarked this recipe! Grumpy loves shepherd's pie and I have never made it to satisfy him. I'm going to try your version and see if I can get him to like it! I like how it is topped with cheddar!!

Heidi said...

Sounds so good. What a great co-op :)

teresa said...

i love shephards pie, but i honestly forget to make it. i'm bookmarking this, my family will love it!

Jamie said...

I am a foodie too! Your blog is fantastic. I am so glad I came across it.Merry SITSmas.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh yum! I love me some shepherd's pie...especially with cheese. I'll be trying out your recipe soon.

Just doing a little blog surfing and stopped to check you out again today. I'll be back soon.

Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner?

Rachel said...

I am so thankful in advance, Christy! I somewhat tricked Marcus into trying Shepherd's Pie a few years back, failing to mention that there were mushrooms in the particular recipe I made. (To say he despises mushrooms is the understatement of the century!) Since then, he's been reluctant to try any Shepherd's Pie recipes I come across! We're huge mashed potato fans here, so I know we'll all enjoy it...especially with the sharp cheddar cheese!

Lisa said...

A great winter meal! YUM!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Loove shepherd's pie, but never thought to add cheese--have you ever tried the pumpkin shepherd's pie?? It's delish!!

I hope you and your family have a blessed holiday season and new year!!

kanishk said...

I can get him to like it! I like how it is topped with cheddar!!

Work from home India

Genevieve Orma said...

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