How I spend most Friday nights…

I am abysmally behind on my reading, but I have zero plans for this weekend other than sitting in my sweatpants, eating, reading and doing homework.  I know exactly what I’ll be reading:  I’m almost done with El otro árbol de Guernica and I started Yarrow by Charles deLint today, so hopefully I’ll have a review of both of those by Monday.  As for homework, I have two linguistics artciles to read and summarize, an excerpt from La casa de los espiritus (The House of the Spirits) to read in Spanish… something I’m not too pleased about. I’d much rather just read the whole article.

But what about eating?  What, you ask, will you cook?  Well, I made one of my all time favorite foods and I’m going to share the recipe with you!

Shepherd’s pie!

Now, I’m very much of a cook as you go kind of person.  Sometimes I go by recipes, but I don’t usually follow them all the way.  I can’t remember where I found the original recipe for this, but I do know that one of the families I babysat for had a similar recipe that used bison.  (It was delicious.  Way more delicious than this, and this is pretty freakin delicious.)  I don’t usually measure spices, so you can tailor this recipe to your liking.  Also, I realize that this probably isn’t what a shepherd’s pie is supposed to taste like, but I can’t get enough of it.  It’s perfect cold-weather comfort food for when you’re feeling under the weather like I am.

This recipe makes one medium sized pie, enough for me to eat by myself over at least 4 or 5 meals.



2 large potatoes, your favorite for making mashed potatoes
1/2 cup of your favorite kind of cheese for mashed potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 tblsp butter
1 tblsp parsley, divided
1/2 tblsp oregano
2 tbslp ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 tblsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small can mushrooms
1 can all-natural Hunts diced tomatoes (has no high-fructose corn syrup and is only .10 more expensive)
1/2 cup frozen peas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Place enough water in a pot to cover the potatoes.   Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters while bringing the water to a boil.  Add the potatoes and reduce the heat to avoid boiling over.  While cooking, prepare the delicious innards of the pie.
  2. Add the oil to a non-stick skillet and add the onions and garlic.  Cook until “translucent” or about 8 minutes.  Keep the temperature low, around the 4.
  3. Add the ground beef and stir, letting the beef start to brown.  Raise the heat to about the 7.
  4. Add all of the spices.  Keep 1/2 tblsp parsley left over for the mashed potatoes.
  5. As the beef browns, but before it is fully cooked, at the canned tomatoes and the canned mushrooms.
  6. This mixture will need to cook until the beef is cooked through, it takes about 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, check on the potatoes.  When they are soft and ready for the mashin, drain the water.  Add the milk, butter, cheese and the rest of the parsley.  Then get out your favorite mashing apparatus.  I used a mixer, but however you like your mashed potatoes is fine by me.
  8. Add the frozen peas to the beef filling mixture about 2 minutes before you take it off the heat.

p10101569. Place the innards in a pan.  I’m not sure on the sizing here, but mine was a square.  As long as it all fits, throw it in.  Spread the mash potatoes over the innards.


10.  Place pie in a preheated oven and let cook for up to 40 minutes.  I got a little anxious and took it out of the oven early and it still tasted pretty darn good.

You could also add some cheese to the top in the shape of your initials.
You could also add some cheese to the top in the shape of your initials.
Side shot!
Side shot!

I hope you enjoy!  I know I’m not the best recipe writer, but let me know if you try it and how it works out for you 🙂


6 thoughts on “How I spend most Friday nights…

  1. I lurve Shephard’s Pie, though mine are vegetarian (and now vegan). I always make mine with peas, carrots, and lots of mushrooms! And I make a faux-gravy with mushrooms, veggie broth, and wine. What I love is the way you can totally wing it, adding in whatever else is in the fridge, and its always yummy. 🙂

  2. Oh my god. That looks sooo good!
    And that first picture with all the ingredients was that taken in your kitchen? The background looks different. …not that I am stalking you or anything

  3. Your weekend sounds remarkably like mine! I had no plans, and spent most of the weekend playing around with a new laptop and trying to get some homework done. I made minestrone, but your recipe looks great! I may just try that 🙂

    Good luck with school this week!

  4. OUR KITCHEN!!!!!!!

    (i like your initial on the mashers. i do that all the time too.)

    (the side shot looks kind of like vom… delicious vom that is.)

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