Classic Comfort Food to the Rescue!

This morning I caught an episode of a Food Network show that I had never viewed before: “Rescue Chef.”  Host Danny Boome demonstrated how to make a (supposedly) traditional shepherd’s pie. He told the mom on the show that this dish is a great way to sneak veggies into your kids’ meals.

The dish looked so good that I gave it a whirl this evening. I probably should have checked my fridge and pantry before starting!  It wasn’t until I was knee-deep that I realized I did not have celery, tomato paste, and peas.  So I substituted corn and green beans for the missing veggies and stewed tomatoes for the paste. Oh yeah…And who really ever has “mature white Cheddar” on hand? I used Kraft shredded cheddar cheese.  I also didn’t have time to make the mashed potatoes.  Just call me Sandra What’s-Her-Face Semi-Blonde. I used my daughter’s favorite side dish, Bob Evans mashed potatoes (found in the refrigerated aisle at the supermarket).

In the end, I pulled a piping hot meal out of the oven in just over an hour. Hubby and I each had seconds, but Maggie pushed her plate aside after two bites and demanded another glass of milk. Oh well. You can’t win (or get them to eat) ’em all.

Bottom line: when I finally create that regular weeknight meal rotation, this dish will certainly be part of my repertoire! I agree with the 49 folks who left comments on the website (all positive–mostly 5 stars); this is a tasty dish that should be shared and made again and again.

P.S. Make sure that your husband and any others you’ll visit with later after eating your shepherd’s pie eats with you. Your breath will SCREAM garlic!

Here is Food Network’s recipe and photo. We dove in too quickly to get a snapshot of mine!

Mummy Boome’s Traditional Shepherds Pie


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef or lamb
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups garden peas*
  • Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows

*Tara’s Note:  Danny used frozen peas on the program, and I used frozen green beans and corn.  They were plenty cooked and hot when exiting the oven.


Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.

Add butter and oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic until tender for about 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables have softened and start to brown a little add the tomato paste and mix evenly. Add the ground beef and cook until beef is no longer pink about 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook and simmer for another 10 minutes. Mix in peas. Transfer mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and spread evenly. Place potato on top of ground beef mixture and spread out evenly, once the top surface has been covered, rake through with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook until browned about 20 minutes. Spoon out the shepherd’s pie and serve.

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated mature white Cheddar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large saucepan with cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Add potatoes to the water and bring to a boil. Let potatoes cook until soft about 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are at a desired density, drain the potatoes and place them back into the saucepan for mashing. Add butter and cream and begin to mash potatoes into a semi smooth consistency. Once at desired texture add cheese and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Mummy Boome's Traditional Shepherds Pie
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2 Responses to Classic Comfort Food to the Rescue!

  1. Aaron says:

    I like Dubliner, it’s a white cheddar that’s got some flavor.

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