Thursday, April 15, 2010

Frugal Thursday: Shepherd's Pie

There is a little bit of a story behind this recipe. A few months ago, Tasty Green Momma-Katie & I went with our husbands to an Irish restaurant. At this restaurant, Katie and I couldn't decide what to get because it all looked so good! We also wanted to try lots of different things, so we could taste it... try and pick it apart... and then recreate it on our own! (Yes, our husbands made fun of us the whole time!)

The MOST AMAZING thing we ate at this little Irish restaurant was... you guessed it, Shepherd's Pie! I don't think I have ever before said that a Shepherd's pie could be considered a meal I craved or was dying to "recreate" on my own. It was, however.... and although I didn't recreate the shepherd's pie "to a T" the way the Irish restaurant made it, I think mine is pretty unique and has lots of flavor!


Here is what you need:

1 lb browned ground beef, 6 baking potatoes-baked and mashed, 2 packets of beef gravy mix, 1 package of mixed vegetables (we like-carrots, corn and green beans), 1/2 lb hot pepper cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.


Step 1:


Make your mashed potatoes!

Want a quick and easy way to do it?

Check out my How To Series: Making mashed potatoes in the microwave.


Want an easier way to do it? Buy Betty Crocker potatoes in a Pouch. There is a coupon here. They run $1.10 at my Kroger and if your Kroger doubles, that would be .60 off which would make them .50 each!

Step 2:
After your beef is browned and drained, start by making your gravy.

This is the packet I used, I believe it is from Aldi. It has great flavor, but I only used 1 and I would definitely recommend using at least 2!


Step 3:

Heat up your veggies. (Coupon here for veggies) Once they are heated up, place them on a plate with paper towel to get rid of the excess water.

Step 4:

Grease your 9x19 pan. I don't think you have to do this, but I like to bake dishes with a butter coating, it just makes the edges nice and crispy!


Step 5:

Start layering your pie: browned ground beef, veggies, then your gravy...


Then your secret ingredient: Hot Pepper Cheese.





Remember how I told you that we were at the end of our grocery budget? Well, Hot Pepper Cheese was all I had in the refrigerator, so I decided to try it out.

I made half of my shepherd's pie with the cheese and half without it so that I didn't ruin the whole pie if we didn't like it. By the end of the meal, we were fighting for 2nds of the pie with the cheese. It was not very spicy, but it added enough of a kick and smoothness to totally change the taste of the shepherd's pie. Definitely a keeper!

Place the cheese on top of the veggies, then the potatoes on top.




Step 6:




Finish it off by adding some butter, dried chives (or whatever herb you like!), salt and pepper to the top



Here is a little *kitchen tip*




If you store your salt in an easy open container, it is much more convenient to grab some and throw it on top of your dish! It is also GREAT for when you have to measure out your salt. No more spilled salt on your counter from overmeasuring. Just scoop it out of your salt dish.

One tip- Label your container SALT. Otherwise others will mistake it for sugar. Trust me, it has happened.... :<)


Step 7:
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

You will want to check it often to make sure it doesn't get too browned. You will know when it is done because you will see the gravy bubbling in the bottom of your dish. I also like to use a knife, stick it in the middle of the dish for about 10 seconds, then pull it out. If it is hot- your dish is cooked through!



Step 8:
Dish it up! We added biscuits (click on the link for a coupon for biscuits) as a side dish, but any type of bread (click on the link for a coupon for Pillsbury bread) would be great!


And for Dessert....

from left to right: my niece, Ella-5; my daughter, Addie- 3 1/2; my daughter, Sophie-2

Popsicles!


I would love to hear how your family makes Shepherd's pie!

Leave a comment and let us know if you have a great ideas for our next Shepherd's pie!





Cost of Meal for a family of 4: $6

Cost per person: $1.50

Not bad for a hearty meal!




1 comment:

Julie said...

I have a friend who browns the ground beef w/onions then adds a1 steak sauce as her gravy.

Personally I would brown the ground beef, use the grease and a tab of butter to caramelize some onions then make gravy out of that (by working in some flour then adding beef broth) and continue on with the rest of your recipe. I think I shall give it a try tonight. I have some ground beef already thawed.