Dishing up comfort for $1 a serving
Growing up as I did, with a very British mother, shepherd’s pie was regular fare at our dinner table.
But most memorably, it became a tradition that Mom would make Shepherd’s Pie for dinner on the first day of school. As years went by, the first day of school became less about giddy anticipation and more about nervous butterflies seasoned with a hint of dread.
But, no matter what the day would bring, I knew “shep’s pie” would be waiting for me once I made it through that first day like a comforting culinary hug.
To this day, when I have that first savory bite something deep in my memory tells me “all is well”.
The succulent beef mixed with the sweetness of the peas, carrots and creamed corn, all topped off with rich, creamy mashed potatoes satisfies the tummy and soothes the soul.
And that, my friends, is comfort in a bowl.
Now, before you tell me this isn’t an authentic British Shepard’s Pie, I know. But I also know you can’t make a traditional Shepard’s Pie for ONLY $1 a serving.
You still in?
I thought so.
Here’s the recipe for the ultimate frugal and fabulous comfort food for about a $1 per serving. Crazy right?
This is a perfect use for leftover mashed potatoes and you can add any kind of leftover veggies into the beef mixture as well. Everybody in the pool! It’s all good.
BUDGET SHEPHERD’S PIE
What You’ll Need:
- About 2 pounds potatoes – whatever variety you like, or equivalent instant mashed potatoes
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 (12 or 16 ounce) bag frozen mixed peas and carrots –thawed
- 1 (14.75 oz.) can creamed style corn
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper and seasoning sauce of your choice – * see Diva Tip below
GF NOTE – This recipe is gluten free IF the creamed corn you use is gluten free. Alternatively, you could use canned or frozen corn. Read you labels!
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Chop the potatoes and boil in salted water until soft. Drain and mash with milk and butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’re using instant mashed potatoes, mix according to package directions. This part takes the longest. You’ll likely have the beef mixture waiting in the casserole dish before the potatoes are finished. That’s cool.
- Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onion adding salt and pepper to taste. Drain if necessary.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the seasoning sauces of your choice.*
- When the hamburger is cooked; add peas and carrots and creamed corn. Let simmer until heated through and bubbly.
- Spray a 9 x 13 pan or 3-quart casserole dish with with non-stick cooking spray, pour the meat and vegetable mixture in bottom of the pan. Spread mashed potatoes evenly over the meat mixture and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
- Switch oven setting to BROIL and heat the casserole until cheese on top is bubbly or lightly browned. Watch this as you don’t want burned cheese. It should only take about 2 minutes.
Let this sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
*Diva Tip – Any of the following sauces would be good: Worcestershire Sauce, soy sauce, steak sauce or ketchup. If you enjoy heat, use a bit of hot sauce. You want the beef to be very flavorful. My personal fave is Worcestershire and a little ketchup.
Enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of a bowl full of comfort. Sigh. All is well.