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Some “Humble Pie,” For Dinner…

March 12, 2012

Jarlsberg Cheesy Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie, also known as Cottage Pie, is made with minced or ground meat and covered with a mashed potato crust.  While the recipe’s origin is not clear, it’s presumed to hail from England or Ireland.  Typically the pie contained lamb meat—since that’s what a shepherd would tend to—but over the years has evolved into many variations.  One thing does remain constant about this savory dish:  it hits the spot on a brisk or chilly day.

It’s also a practical way to use up leftover meat and potatoes, while leaving room for creativity to customize with favorite vegetables and spices.  Adding a creamy, nutty cheese like Jarlsberg to the filling or used as a crust, gives the dish an especially pleasing taste.  No doubt, this humble pie will become a family favorite. Both versions are simple to prepare and can be made ahead.  If you’re not a fan of lamb, beef or chicken will work, too.

Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie

Meat Mixture:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup each chopped onion and green or red pepper
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 teaspoons Worcestershire or, to taste
2 cups cooked chopped or ground lamb or beef,  with fat drained
1 cup shredded Jarlsberg or Jarlsberg Lite cheese
1 cup brown gravy (homemade or store bought)

 

Topping:

1 cup shredded Jarlsberg or Jarlsberg Lite cheese
2 cups fresh, instant or leftover mashed potatoes
½ cup skimmed milk
2 teaspoons dried thyme

1.     Preheat oven to 425o.

2.     In large non-stick skillet, saute garlic over medium heat until golden.  Add onion, pepper and saute until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute a few minutes more.   Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire, meat, cheese and gravy.

3.     Spoon mixture into oval, round or square baking dish.

4.     Combine topping ingredients and spread evenly over meat mixture, or pipe it around the edge of dish, as shown.

5.     Bake 20 minutes.  Serves 4 – 6.

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