Sunday, March 1, 2009

Easy and scrumptious shepherd's pie

I'm no cook. But I do have a few fail-safe recipes for Western food, which my kids love. You probably know me by now, cooking is one of my lowest priorities, above cleaning and below playing computer games. So my recipes tend to be as simple as possible, which is not that easy a task considering I have four (including myself) very discerning eaters at home.

I'm sharing this recipe for shepherd's pie - it's quite a constant in my household and is a great one-dish meal.

First, fry up 600g of minced beef or pork (we usually use a combination) with onions. If you like, you can marinate the meat with a little salt and pepper beforehand.

Then, and here's the secret - take a bottle of 10oz Prego Pasta Sauce, pour about a quarter of the contents into the minced meat, stir and let it simmer until the sauce is nicely absorbed by the meat.

If you are crying "cop out!", let me say this: by all means, you slave over your home-made tomato sauce making sure you have the right combination and amounts of ingredients. Meanwhile, I pop open a bottle and have the remaining 45 minutes to play with my kids. And chances are my sauce will still taste as good as (if not better than) yours.

While the meat is simmering, mash about five potatoes. If you've never done homemade mashed potatoes, try it. It's not that difficult and its taste can never be replicated by that packet rubbish. Just boil or microwave the potatotes until you can poke a fork right through. Peel the skin, mash, add some salt, lots of milk and butter until the consistency is soft and creamy.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Place the meat mixture in a dish, spoon the mashed potato on top, sprinkle paprika on top and bung it in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes.

Tah-dah! Serve hot with side garden salad if you wish. Always a family favourite and great for parties.


Lilian said...

Yummmmy! I wouldn't mind one portion for myself. But I know at least 2 fussies in my house who won't eat this :( Eddie my Chinaman, and Sean who won't even eat KFC mashed potato! Which kid doesn't like KFC mashed potato???

The mashing bit does sound like a bit of work though but this does look really delicious.

monlim said...

Lilian: you did mention the 2 of them won't eat western food. It's a bit unusual for a kid esp, maybe he'll grow out of it next time?

The mashed potato sounds like a lot of work, but we do it so often it's not that hard anymore. The thing is to cook the potato so soft that it's no effort to mash (using a masher), then it's just adding the milk and butter.

Next time you come for dinner, I'll make this for you!

Alcovelet said...

I was going to say, beef and tomatoes go together like a horse and carriage. Doesn't rhyme as well as the original, but it's the same sentiment!

My RK's no Chinaman when it comes to food, but he'll never touch mashed potatoes cos he can't take the mushy texture, "even if it's delicious mush!"

Lilian said...

Oooh goody, looking forward to shepherd's pie, I've actually never eaten before.

Really hope Sean will grow out of it. Brian eats almost everything now and he used to be really fussy. Not as fussy as Sean is now though :(

bACk in GERMANY said...

Oh oh... me me... my kids... they don't eat KFC mashed potato! They don't even eat MacDonald's French fries! Ok, Kristin, just a few fries and that's it!
That was our pain when we travelled... fast food wasn't really an option! Happy meals were just toys and nuggets... and K ate a lot better at BK's.

But yeah... your dish is yummy... too bad that my oven is down... Gotta find someone to fix it. Don't ask me why I still haven't done so...

Anonymous said...

I am not a cook but really would like to try and prepare this shepherd's pie. I do not have any oven and buying one is always on the back of my mind. What kind of oven would you recommend? And how big is yours in terms of Litres?

monlim said...

Anon: Mine is a microwave oven which doubles up as a convection oven. I find this great for non-cooks like myself cos you don't need to get 2 ovens. Umm, not sure how big it is, think it's the biggest available Sharp convection/microwave oven, if that helps :P

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