Easy Shepard’s Pie….

This is a quick post and yes, I know tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day, so I should have done this yesterday. Anyway, the recipe I use for the party is really simple and I always use 9 x13 foil baking pans so there’s very little cleanup. (This is one of the few times I don’t use extra lean ground beef.)

5 pounds of ground beef (85% lean); 1 large onion – diced; 1 32-oz bag of frozen corn; 1 16-oz bag of frozen sliced carrots (I admit I do cut these smaller after I thaw them, but it’s a quick thing to do); 1 jar beef gravy; 1 Guiness (optional); 2 containers of refrigerated prepared mashed potatoes (2 lb size).

Thaw the carrots by putting them into a bowl of hot water for about 15 minutes. Drain them and chop into small pieces. Thaw the corn the same way. Brown the meat, then dump it into one of the foil baking pans. Add enough oil to the pot to saute the onions, then add the meat, the vegetables, the gravy, and the beer into the pot and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste and cook on medium for fifteen minutes or until the liquid is reduced to where the mixture stirs easily, but is not “soupy”. Heat the oven to 400. Divide the mixture into the foil pans. It will for sure fill two and maybe three depending on how deep the pans are. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Oh, the foil pans are not sturdy, so it’s best to put them on top of a cookie sheet for baking. The nice thing is that you can do all of this ahead of time, cover the pans with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator or an extra ice chest if you don’t have room in the refrigerator. I would take them out of the fridge/cooler half an hour before you put them in the oven to allow it to come to room temperature. If you aren’t certain of how many people are coming, you can bake the first pan, then the other one later. If you do have leftovers, it reheats well in the microwave.

This is obviously a crowd-size dish, so you can do 2 pounds of beef, 16 ounces of corn, 16 ounces of carrots, 1/2 onion, 1 jar of gravy, (1/2 of a Guinness), and 1 container of mashed potatoes for a smaller batch. I pair it with party-size potato rolls, although crusty bread works, too.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

 

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