Cold Weather Comforts: Shepherd’s Pie

After a couple days of warmer temperatures and a little sunshine, we got slammed with another Nor’easter earlier this week that I’m still trying to shovel myself out of. The first day of Spring might be this coming weekend, but Winter is definitely not going to leave quietly! It looks like my snow boots are going to remain within reach for another few weeks, at least!

But it’s not all frigidness and misery. Cold weather means I get to prepare warm and filling comfort foods from my overly heated apartment, and it seems just as good a time as any to share my mother’s beloved shepherd’s pie recipe- which warms the body and soul with each and every bite.

You can make shepherd’s pie with a variety of vegetables- carrots, peas, celery, etc., but my mother’s version calls for only an abundance of corn kernels to keep things quick and simple- and it remains my favorite spin on the dish to this day!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

6 SERVINGS:

FILLING:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1¼ cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

POTATO TOPPING:

  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. MAKE THE FILLING: In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, 7 to 9 minutes.

3. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break it up. Sauté until the beef is fully cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

4. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mixture, and stir well to combine. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.

5. Add the beef broth to the pot and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until good flavor develops and the sauce is thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes.

6. Stir in the corn kernels and thyme. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Set aside.

7. MAKE THE POTATO TOPPING: Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with water by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until fork tender, 17 to 20 minutes.

8. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the goat cheese and sour cream, and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper.

9. Dollop the mashed potatoes on top of the beef filling and spread into an even layer. Arrange small pieces of butter on top of the potatoes.

10. Bake until the filling is hot and bubbly and the potatoes are golden and crisp on the surface, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

___________________________________

I could eat this every day without complaint. The potatoes are divine and the seasoned beef and corn filling is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. This is absolutely one of those “snow day” dinner recipes that are so much more decadent and satisfying than a standard bowl of hot soup.

And best of all- you can freeze the leftovers for this one and not worry about any of the ingredeitns losing their flavor or texture when it comes time to reheat everything!

xo

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Hi! I'm Ashley. I'm a blogger and a radio personality with a makeup and shoe addiction based out of Boston and the Pioneer Valley. These are my (mis)adventures.

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