This week’s Foodie Friday was contributed by my mom Sally Traub, an excellent cook who has spent many years teaching her grandchildren how to cook. ~ Megan
Imagine growing up in a household in the 50’s and 60’s with a British mother who hated cooking. That is a recipe, so to speak, for disaster. While many of my mother’s meals came out to be a culinary disaster due to lack of passion, there was never an evening without a traditional family dinner.
My mother cooked a lot of traditional English cuisine like liver and onions, “bubble and squeak”, as well as her self-titled dish called “Mix Up In a Dixie,” which translated to “everything that hadn’t been eaten that week was recycled into dinner.” My parents survived World War II England–through the bombings, the food shortages, and every other imaginable trial — so her reticence to waste anything was understandable.
So, when one of the yummy meals appeared on the table, it was cause for celebration. The most delicious meal mother made was Shepherd’s Pie.
Traditionally Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, hence the name. But in our house, it was made with leftover roast beef from Sunday’s roast beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner. My mother’s recipe has evolved over the years and changes with every iteration. Here is my take on a childhood favorite–feel free to add your own flair.
- 4 medium size Russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
- ½ onion-finely diced
- ½ lb. (more or less) of chopped mushrooms
- 3 carrots- peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ lb. (or more) fresh green beans (or canned or frozen)
- 1 cup frozen peas- thawed
- 1 cup frozen corn- thawed
- 2 pkgs of herbal gravy mix
- salt and pepper
- any herbs that you like
- salt and pepper
- Cube and boil potatoes in a pot of water until soft. Blend potatoes with 1/2 cup of milk and 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cook ground beef or turkey with the diced onion until no longer pink, adding the chopped mushrooms the last few minutes. Drain all fat.
- Cook carrots and green beans either in microwave or pan until cooked through.
- Combine all ingredients, except potatoes, in with the ground beef mix--carrots, peas, corn, green beans and really any other cooked vegetable that you like. Add 2 cups of water and the gravy mix to the Shepherd's Pie and cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon into round casserole dish, top with the mashed potatoes taking them all the way to the edge. Dot the top with butter all over and put under the broiler until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Set your timer because they burn quickly!
- A perfect meal for a fall evening. Hope you enjoy it!
Sally Traub has been married to her witty husband for 43 years and has two grown daughters, two incredible son-in-laws, and six perfect grandchildren. Sally has been an Educator for 25 years, and is currently a literacy coach.