Why Does My Mash Sinking Cottage Pie
One of the key tricks with a good Cottage Pie is to get the beef filling to the correct texture. Keep an eye on the filling whilst it is cooking, adding a little water if it starts to dry out. The other trick to stop the mashed potato from sinking is to let the beef filling cool before adding the mashed potato.
Shepherd’s Pie Including Directions For Freezing
Higher starch potatoes like Russets or Yukon golds make for the fluffiest mashed potatoes. Start potatoes in cold water or theyll cook unevenly with the outside starting to fall apartwhile the inside remains uncooked. Drain well after cooking you might even heat the potatoes gently on low heat on the stove top for about a minute. Avoid mashing potatoes in a food processor as it can turn them into glue. By the way, did you know one medium-size potato has only 110 calories?
- 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds of potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 oz. Neufchatel or cream cheese, cubed and softened at room temperature.
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables , thawed
- 1 cup savory beef gravy, purchased or homemade
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What Is Shepherds Pie
It is a classic meat and potatoes dish literally, in this case, as it is essentially a meat filling covered by a layer of mashed potatoes. The dish is popular because it is simple to make, is fulfilling, and if prepared correctly can be reasonably healthy. The biggest question is what the perfect time and temp for shepherds pie should be for the meal. While this can vary a little, in general, the best serving temp is around 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
At its simplest, the casserole is some sort of meat sauce covered with mashed potatoes. While there are not that many variations on the mashed potatoes part, although you could add some spices and cheese to them, the meat sauce allows for a wide variety of options. At the very least, you can add almost any vegetable into the mix and it usually works. You can also use a tomato-based sauce or use standard meat gravy. The basic recipe is very forgiving of variants and it is even encouraged.
There are even some more exotic variations. While the default is ground beef, you can substitute any ground meat, from turkey to lamb, as desired. You can use a chili mixture in place of the standard meat sauce. While the most basic recipe calls for corn and green beans, you can use virtually any vegetables with the meat sauce. There is even an option for the top you can use a more doughy top instead of the potatoes. In short, it is something with which you can have some serious fun and can be used as the basis of a wide variety of options.
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Key Steps For Easy Shepherds Pie
- Buy some shortcuts. I actually find chopping to be quite therapeutic, but when it comes to shepherds pie, peeling and chopping carrots is the last thing I want to spend my time on. Instead, opt for a bag of mixed vegetables from the freezer.
- Focus your efforts on the potatoes. You can totally make shepherds pie with store-bought mashed potatoes and you should if youre in an especially big hurry. But in the time it takes to make the beef filling, you can chop four large russets and cook them until tender. The resulting mashed potatoes will have more flavor and a better texture than store-bought.
- Add a yolk to the potatoes for texture and structure. Another benefit to making the mashed potatoes from scratch: you can stir in an egg yolk. Just one yolk makes the mash ultra-creamy, and also helps the potatoes form a crispy crust in the oven.
- Brown the beef in the same skillet youll serve from. This is key to the ease of this recipe. Use a large oven-safe skillet to brown the beef for the pie cast iron is best, if youve got it. Once the beef is brown, youll add your frozen vegetables and a few other ingredients to make a quick gravy, which is the base of the pie.
How To Make Shepherds Pie
- Sauté some chopped onions in olive oil.
- Add ground beef or ground lamb.
- Add dried parsley, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Stir and cook the meat mixture until the meat is browned.
- Add minced garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cook the garlic for a minute.
- Add flour and tomato paste.
- Add beef broth, frozen mixed peas and carrots, and frozen corn kernels.
- Simmer the meat gravy until it is thick.
- Boil some peeled and chopped potatoes until they are soft.
- Drain the potatoes
- Add butter, half & half, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Mash the potatoes until smooth.
- Pour the meat mixture into a casserole dish.
- Top it with the cheesy mashed potatoes.
- Bake until the meat is bubbling and the potatoes are golden.
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What To Serve With Shepherds Pie:
Youre welcome to serve this shepherds pie with extra gravy on the side, if you would like. Otherwise, we enjoyed ours with:
- A simple side salad: Such as my Everyday Salad recipe.
- A loaf of crusty bread: If youre interested in more carbs.
- Corn on the cob: A simple and colorful side dish.
- A nice cold Guinness: Cheers!
Happy early St. Patricks Day, everyone! Hope you enjoy!
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How This Pie Is Different From Traditional Shepherds Pie
The shepherds pie of my upbringing features a hefty portion of meat, with vegetables playing a supporting role, and a thick topping of buttery mashed potatoes. My updated version bumps up the ratio of vegetables to meat and calls for extra-lean ground beef, which is the leanest option in the butcher case.
For the mashed potatoes, the recipe swaps in olive oil for butter, which means more heart-healthy fats in every bite. The sum total of these swaps is a lighter dish with no shortcuts on flavor.
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Can I Cook A Shepherd’s Pie From Frozen
4.6/5cookshepherds pie from frozencookshepherds pie from frozendopiethis is here
Always freeze the pie on the day that you make it. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then cook as per the recipe. Alternatively, to cook from frozen, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, cover with foil and cook for 1½ hrs. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7, uncover and cook for 20 mins more, until golden and bubbling.
can you cook a cooked pie from frozen? Baking un-baked frozen pies:Defrost fully in the refrigerator overnight. Pre-heat oven to 350. For 9-inch pies, bake at 350 approximately 1 hour. For 6-inch pies, bake approximately 30 minutes.
Just so, how do you reheat frozen shepherd’s pie in the oven?
Freezer Instructions: After baking, let pan cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, reheat the shepherd’s pie for 1 hour in a 350ºF oven.
Can you microwave shepherds pie?
Yes, you can reheat shepherd’s pie in the microwave. The only downside of reheating in a microwave is that the shepherd’s pie might end up soggy and lose it’s crispy texture and flavor due to uneven heating. Just be sure to heat and stir with a spoon or fork several times.
Can You Freeze Shepherds Pie
A Shepherds Pie is the perfect make ahead food.
Once your pie is assembled you can chill and then freeze for up to one month. It can also be cooked from frozen. To bake from frozen, cook at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre. Flash under the grill to brown, if needed.)
If not freezing, you could also keep in the fridge 2 days before cooking.
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Suggestions And Substitutions For Shepherds Pie
A true shepherds pie is actually done with lamb, not beef . Cottage pie is the term traditionally applied to one made with beef.
Regardless of what you call it, you can make this with basically any type of ground meat you like, knowing that they range widely in fat content. Ground lamb, turkey, bison, venison, and beefor half and half of any of the aboveare all fair game.
Nothing beats fresh vegetables and cheese youve grated on the spot to make this recipe, but if youre short on time, here are a few shortcuts:
- Swap in frozen mixed vegetables for the carrots, celery, and peas. Use two and a half cups and add them to the dish when it instructs you to add the peas.
- Use pre-shredded sharp cheddar. Take a gander at the ingredients, since some brands use additives to keep the cheese from clumping. Less is more, if you ask me.
- Buy screw-top wine. Every little bit counts when it comes to saving time. Plus, fussing with a bottle opener isnt my favorite pastime. You dont need fancy wine for this anyway, just something dry and drinkable.
What To Serve With Shepherds Pie
Generally, shepherds pie is a complete meal in and of itself. There is a protein in the meat sauce, the mashed potatoes provide the starch, and there are vegetables included in most recipes this makes it an ideal meal all by itself. However, should you wish to include something alongside the casserole, there are some intriguing options. An obvious option is some sort of dark brown gravy, which adds some needed moisture to the potatoes. Salad is not a bad idea, especially something like an apple salad although a green salad works. Vegetables work as well, especially green beans, mushy peas, and most roots, such as parsnips, carrots, and even turnips.
Shepherds pie is an excellent meal, It does not take much to prepare it and it hits almost every need in a meal: It has meat, carbs, and comes with a variety of different nutrients. It is great for anyone in need of some extra energy, especially growing kids. Just remember to check the temperature before serving it is advised that you purchase a ThermPro meat thermometer to make sure that the meal is at 165 degrees. It makes for a great meal, and there are a lot of options to explore, so have some fun cooking it!
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How To Freeze Healthy Shepherds Pie
Once the shepherds pie is baked, cool completely and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer until fairly firm, about two hours. Then, cover tightly with plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. Mark the date on the outside and store in the freezer for up to two months.
When ready to serve, remove the foil and plastic wrap. Use the foil you just removed to loosely cover the pie. Make sure that your casserole dish can go straight from freezer to oven if not, set the casserole in the oven while the oven preheats so that the dish warms slowly.
Bake the casserole for an hour, or until the pie is hot all the way through. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to allow the top to brown.
Temperature Tips For Making Shepherds Pie
When it comes to shepherds pie, the temperature is key. When cooking, the best time and temperature for shepherds pie is 375-400 degrees for about half an hour usually just enough time for the potatoes to brown a little. For those looking for a little more precision, you can check the inside temperature using something like a ThermPro Meat Thermometer the ideal temperature is 165 degrees. If you are curious as to what temp to cook shepherds pie, go with your recipes directions sometimes the temperature may change depending on the ingredients used.
It should be noted that some recipes will cause you to question what to temp to cook shepherds pie this is normal. In general, more liquid ingredients should decrease the temperature a little bit as should ingredients that require a little extra cooking. Conversely, more solid ingredients or ingredients that require less oven time will increase the temperature. Again, if there are any questions as to what temp for shepherds pie, it is best to consult the recipe in question.
When it comes to reheating the casserole, the oven temp for shepherds pie is just 350 degrees. If you are cooking from a frozen state, it can take an hour again, using the ThermoPro Meat Thermometer, check the inside temperature to ensure that it is about 165 degrees.
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Get Ahead Of The Game With These 11 Incredible Casseroles They Are Freezer
When it comes to cooking in the kitchen, my motto is Eat all the things. Just kidding. Its really Work smarter, not harder.
I cook for a small army every day, and I have found that I am most productive when working in batches. What this means is that if Im already exerting the energy to get food out and cook it and am already getting dishes dirty, then I might as well roll up my sleeves and really get to work by making extra food for later.
Think of it as your own little BOGO meal. Except maybe its MOGO MAKE ONE, GET ONE. Ha!
Since youre already making a casserole for your family, you might as well spend a few extra minutes making another one to freeze for later. That way, when life gets crazy and youre desperate for an easy meal, youve already got one in the freezer ready to cook at a moments notice. High-fives for everyone!
These casseroles can all be frozen as one whole casserole or as individual portions. Simply bake them, cool them completely, and wrap them tightly in foil. They will keep for up to 3 months.
To reheat the casseroles cover them loosely with foil in a 350°F oven. It’s best to reheat individual portions in the microwave.
Want more meals to double and freeze? Try these!