Tonight’s dinner was an A+ in the comfort food department! The other day, I stumbled upon a recipe for Cheddar-Topped Shepherd’s Pie on the Martha Stewart website, and knew that I just had to make it for my wonderful husband. Two of Mal’s most favorite things in life (well, for food) are Shepherd’s Pie and cheddar cheese, so I knew he would love the combo.
Cheddar- Topped Shepherd’s Pie
Prep: 30 minutes; Total: 1 hour
2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, 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 white cheddar (6 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 450. 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 the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. 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.
- Drain potatoes; return to pan. Cook over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add milk and 1 cup cheese. Mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.
- Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with 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.
I mostly followed the recipe, but made 2 small ingredient substitutions:
- Whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose white flour
- Orange cheddar cheese instead of white cheddar cheese
Dessert was a Cocoa Oatmeal Cookie with a smear of Barney Butter on top… and five minutes later: a second one! Hmmmmm… I think all of these sweets are starting to add up!
Announcing 1,000,000 Pageviews!!!
Carrots ‘N’ Cake reached 1,000,000 pageviews this afternoon! Crazy, right?! I can remember a time not too long ago when I only had about 5 readers, and now my blog has seen more than a million views!
THANKS to all of you who read my blog every day! I really enjoy posting on Carrots ‘N’ Cake, reading and responding to your comments and questions, and learning so much from all of you! I love our little community! Again, thanks!
Ok, it’s time for me to catch up with The Hills! G’ night!