Friday, March 18, 2011 Sorta Shepard's Pie

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, and although I'm not Irish and I'm not a drinker, I helped my Italian drinker husband celebrate the day with my special Shepard's Pie.

It's special in two ways - one, it's actually ground beef and not lamb because ground lamb was 15 dollars a pound! And two, I make it in a potato chip crust. Yes, you read that right, a potato chip crust. And it is friggin' AWESOME!

Check out this photo set on my Facebook page.

Ingredients for Headbanging Shepard's Pie

1 bag of regular Cape Cod Potato Chips
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup or so of peas and carrots (Corn is okay too. And frozen is fine!)
1/4 cup diced onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5 large potatoes mashed with butter, milk and seasoned
Stock and roux (butter and flour) for gravy
1/2 stick of melted butter
salt, pepper, powdered rosemary (available at Penzy's)

Throw about 3/4ths of the potato chips in a food processor with the melted butter and some rosemary and blend into teeny-tiny pieces. Dump most of it into a pie pan and press it in and up the sides. Save a little for the top. Bake it in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 to get some color on it.

Brown the meat in a big pan with some seasonings. Pour off the excess fat and then add the veggies, onion and garlic. It doesn't have to cook long, because it's going back in the oven.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the potato chip crust and then, using a piping bag or a ziplock with the corner cut off, pipe the mashed potatoes all over the top.

Sprinkle with the remaining chips and bake for about 20 minutes at 350. You want a little color on the top, everything is already cooked so you don't have to overdo it.

For the gravy heat up the stock on the stove. I used chicken stock because I had it in the fridge from the day before. But you can use whatever you want. I'm not gonna judge. Let it come to a simmer and then add the roux - butter and flour all mushed up on a plate. I had about half a stick of butter and an equal amount of flour for around 2 1/2 cups of stock. I'm not measuring over here, I'll admit it. It's okay! What's the worst that can happen? Not enough roux, make more! Too thick, add more liquid! As the gravy comes back to a boil it'll thicken up real nice. Use a whisk and stir out all the lumps and then give yourself a pat on the back. You just made kickin' gravy!

Let the pie sit for a moment before you cut it. Slice it up like any pie and smother each slice with gravy. Dang good!



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