Do you find non-fiction objectionable? Do you loathe and abhor self-help books? Do you find memoirs so depressing you think you may go out and beat your neighbor to make yourself feel better? Well...that's how I feel. If you feel the same, you've found the right place. In my feature IN WHICH I AM WELL INFORMED I will be reading something of a non-fiction nature and I will tell you what I've learned from said item. No worries, this is going to be fun!
**I just want to preface this post by saying that all my thoughts are my own and are only meant in fun and not to be offensive. Sometimes life should be laughed at and not taken so seriously. It's better that way.**
First off, I hope you can forgive me for this not being up this morning. I've had an IRS audit for a client all week and it's been crazy busy!!
If you all know anything about me, you know I'm obsessed with food in general. I'm especially in love with book foods. Well, this week on In Which I am Well Informed, I will be making the Shepherd's Pie from Demons at Deadnight. (I will post the recipe at the VERY bottom of this post, under the Giveaway details) This to me is the epitome of awesome because it's bookish food and I'm a bookish nerd. So, it works. Well.
On to the food!
1. Chop up veggies: I chopped up all my veggies first because if you do it while things are cooking then you end up with something burned. Better to start off with everything prepared to go. I used, garlic, onions, (red, yellow & green) peppers, frozen carrots, corn & peas.
2. Sauté meet over high heat: We had lamb in our freezer because during Hubs last holiday, he slaughtered one. Yes. You heard that right. He slaughtered one. With his severely awesome pocket knife. This really happened folks. It is a $200 pocket knife and made for hunting, so it’s quite sharp. I know, this is probably weird for most people, but I’m so used it it’s not even funny.
Anyhow, it wasn’t ground, so Hubs cut it into teeny tiny pieces for me and I browned it that way. I accidentally cooked it too long, because cut up lamb is not the same as ground lamb, but it was fine in the end, albeit the lamb a little tough…ooops. So, if you go this route, I’d sear the lamb (or beef) that isn’t ground, but not fully cook it because later on in the recipe it will cook more. Also, Hubs says when browning or searing meat we want to use high heat so we sear in the flavor...we don't want to boil it.
Once seared (if ground meat, brown in full) I removed from heat and put aside, including the drippings.
3. Start veggies: I started with the garlic because it will flavor the pan. So, heat a pan to medium heat with some extra virgin olive oil. Once heated, add the garlic. It will cook really fast, so just stir it a bit so it will flavor the oil and pan and then dump in the onions. Onions take longer to cook than some veggies so I always cook them first. I’m not a fan of crunchy onions in this type of food.
When my onions were almost translucent and slightly tough (stir them occasionally while they cook) I added the peppers and cooked those till everything was soft. Then I dumped on the frozen veggies. These are basically cooked, they just need to defrost, so don’t add them too soon.
I actually ran out of room so I had to switch over to my 10 quart pot.
4. Add meat and gravy: Once I switched over to a big pot, I added the meat and the gravy. I used brown gravy because I couldn’t find the peppercorn and I searched everywhere. The brown gravy was delicious though, so whatever you can get your hands on is good. I actually mixed 2 pkgs of brown gravy with the drippings from the lamb it flavored it well.
5. Add spices: You can really add whatever spices you prefer, but I added what the recipe called for because I like trying new things.
6. Put in dish: It’s not going to be super thick, although the gravy will have thickened. I used a 9X13 Corningware dish.
7. Top in mashed potatoes: Okay, my potatoes were small, so I needed double what it called for, but just use your best guess. I love mashed potatoes, so if I had extra I would have just saved them. Mmmmmm….potatoes!!
8. Optional: ADD CHEESE: So…..growing up my mom used to make Shepherd’s pie. She always ALWAYS topped it in cheese. I don’t know if this is because it helped us eat it, or because she liked cheese. Probably both. However, I always think of cheesy potatoes when I eat Shepherd’s Pie. So even though this recipe doesn’t call for it, I added it to half for my sake. :D
9. Bake: Put the pan (covered in tin foil) in a PREHEATED oven at 350 degrees for 30 min. You need to cover the pan with foil. This protects the top of the dish.
10. Take it out and serve: It’s really quite simple from here. HAHA! Just put it on a plate and you’re ready to go. My family loved this meal. It was gone the next day, no one even saved me any leftovers. *sticks out tongue*
Everyone really should try this, it’s not difficult at all and the veggies are easy to substitute with ones you like. Plus, mashed potatoes…cheese…BEST EVER!
Giveaway #1: The Hex Boys have generously shared some awesome swag to giveaway to one lucky winner.
Leave a comment with contact info to enter. Retweet for an extra entry! Include RT link in comment. Ends 2/24th at 11:59 pm MST. Winners will be selected using random.org.
To enter you need to know the secret phrase given out one word at a time by each blog tour host. Put the words together in sequential order and you'll eventually have the secret phrase!
Starting March 9 (at the end of the tour) you can enter the complete phrase on the AEKIRK Blog Tour Page and earn BIG entry points! Your Kindle Fire will also include your choice of a DEMONS AT DEADNIGHT Skin. Either from the cover, or a Hex Boys group shot or individual "Team" skin of your favorite Hex Hunk!
Today's Secret Word is:
For all the Hex Boys Individual AB-tacular Team Buttons, and a list of all the Tour Stops, go the Demons at Deadnight Blog Tour Page.
Lahey Family Shepherd’s Pie
2 lbs Ground beef (or turkey or lamb)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ each or red, orange and green pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp Italian Seasonings – you can use instead a bit of basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram and/or rosemary, whatever suits your fancy
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 pkgs of peppercorn gravy
1 stick butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Meat and Veggie Mixture
- In large sauté pan, over medium heat, cook beef until it starts to brown. About 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and all the veggies except the peas, and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the “Italian seasonings” and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 1 minute
- Add the peas and gravy to taste.
- Put the mixture in a casserole baking dish with enough room to add potatoes on top.
- Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and whip them with an electric blender.
- Add the ½ cup cream (or milk) and butter, and continue to whip. Keep adding more cream (or milk) until you get the consistency you prefer.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Happy Friday everyone!