Odds And Ends From The ‘Fridge Make A Great Shepherd’s Pie
Yesterday we went to a small group meeting at dinner time. Part of the meeting is always bringing a dish and eating our pot luck supper together. Most times we tend to bring sweet things like brownies, cookies, and pie, or chips, dips, crackers and other little nibbley stuff. There would be six of us so I thought it would be a good idea to make a dish that would warm us up on the inside (the weather turned cold again) and be more of a hearty meal. It was good no one else had the same idea. There were some crackers, chips, bean and corn salsa, and a yummy carrot salad, all things combined that made for a very satisfying supper. It was good to take a break from the sweets for once.
I brought something made from odds and ends from the ‘fridge that turned out to be a shepherd’s pie. First, I had some things already done that saved me some prep time. I had a pie crust ready in the freezer and three baked potatoes done in the microwave ahead of time. While they were cooling I made the pie filling in a large skillet. I used:
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 medium carrot cut in match stick size pieces
- 2 ribs of celery (with a bit of the leaves) sliced
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper
- 2 mushrooms thinly sliced
- a dash or two each of thyme, basil, parsley flakes, pepper, and salt
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 packet brown gravy mix (Like McCormick)
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1 lb lean ground beef
First, I went to saute all the vegetables and spices in a skillet with the olive oil. When that was cooked down a bit with a little golden color showing on the edges of the veggies, I put it onto a plate a while so I could brown off the ground beef with a bit more of the spices to flavor the meat too. When the meat was nearly cooked, I drained off some of the fat, add the veggies back in, throughly mixed the gravy mix in cold water, and poured it over the meat mixture cooking it all together until the gravy thickened.
I shut off the fire then went to peel and slice the potatoes which were now cool enough to handle. I drizzled some olive oil over the potato slices, poured the meat mixture into the pie shell, then arranged the potato slices over the meat. Traditionally the potatoes would be whipped potatoes piped on top of the meat mixture in pretty little peaks but, sometimes this diva likes to (is in a rush and must) go with the rustic style. Just one more dash of salt, pepper, and paprika for color and the arrangement of potatoes did indeed look pretty after all. After it baked in a 400° oven for about 40 minutes, it looked even prettier with the crisp golden edges.
It was hard to keep it together when serving. The meat wanted to topple out all over the place but it did fill us all up along with the salad, salsa and chips, And it was no more trouble to make than any pie, or cookie, or salad or dip.
Our discussion that evening centered around the parable of the shrewd businessman in Luke chapter 16… The boss was going to fire the lazy businessman but the business man quickly lined up his ducks and got the boss’s debtors to promptly pay their accounts but at a discount that the businessman arranged. He made friends that way to secure a future for himself after being fired. He could hit up his “new friends” that had a little extra money now, thanks to him, for a meal or a place to stay.
I can relate to that business man. I was lazy and didn’t go to the store in order to take something to the meeting, but I did some quick thinking and found an equitable solution. I think my friends will keep me around as long as I can whip together a meal from what ever resources are in the fridge and pantry. They would do it regardless, as they are some of the finest people one could know. I love my friends too, and I think that is what “our Shepherd” wants us to do.