I was craving a big bowl of Shepherd’s Pie recently but got thinking – it had been a long time since I had made it. I think actually the last time I had it, Kirk made it maybe 6 years ago? Not sure why I haven’t done it since. But what they hey, I am embracing my casserole roots more often these days.
So after looking at maybe 100+ recipes and not seeing anything that even looked remotely good (canned gravy? cream of mushroom soup? versions with no gravy at all?) I was getting disillusioned. So I thought it out and decided I’d make it up as I went and write it down. I used what I had on hand and as always, I used Bison for the ground meat. On the potatoes I had a bag of mixed Yukon Gold, red and blue potatoes that I used. I quartered them, with peels on. On the buttermilk, if you haven’t used it, try it! It is thick and tasty and more so, low fat.
Yes, the color of the mashed potatoes is a bit odd, that is what blue potatoes will do though 😉
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground bison
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups lower sodium beef stock
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 lb bag frozen peas and carrots, thawed
ground black pepper to taste
2 lbs potatoes of choice
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
ground black pepper
2 cups grated Tillamook medium cheddar cheese
Wash and quarter the potatoes. Steam them till fork tender using a steaming basket in your pot if you have one. Drain off the water and let the potatoes sit for a couple minutes to dry out. Meanwhile melt the butter in the hot pot over the still warm burner, toss in the potatoes and start mashing. Add in the buttermilk, fresh ground black pepper to taste until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese till melted.
Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add in the meat and cook till nearly done, then add in the garlic and finish cooking. Drop the heat to medium, stir in the flour and let cook for a couple minutes. Add in the beef stock, wor. sauce and ketchup. Let cook till bubbling and thickened, then stir in the vegetables. Let heat through till bubbling again. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste (and salt if you so desire).
Pour the hot meat mixture into a 9″x13″ oven proof casserole. Top with the hot mashed potatoes using two spoons to drop then gently spread. Spread the remaining 1 cup grated cheese on top.
Bake in a 350° oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Serves a hungry crowd!