Every woman needs an arsenal of man foods. I’m not saying these are foods that we ladies can’t enjoy, but ones that are especially impressive to make for a man. However, since I am the queen of awkward, I find a way not to put enough meat in the pie and I make Shepherd’s Pie soup, but that’s a different story. Enjoy some Shepherd’s Pie, man optional.
Adapted from Alton Brown
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
- 4 ounces Neuchâtel cheese
- Splash half and half
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar (optional)
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried and crushed rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried and crushed thyme leaves
- 1, 10 ounce, box of frozen mixed vegetables, preferably corn, peas, green beans and the like
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, Neuchâtel cheese, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk and optional cheddar until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and saute just until it begins to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Add the frozen veggies to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula.
Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
This man couldn’t keep his hands out of the pie.
Luckily he’s cute, so I forgive him.