See that recipe up there? Yeah, it's a little destroyed. I hope that expresses how much I love it. I never make it the same way twice, as is much of my cooking. See, when I learned how to cook from my mom it was all my smell. She taught me to use my nose to determine if it needed more salt, seasoning, sugar, veggies, or love. Yep. I use recipes as a guide. Sometimes I fail miserably, but more often than not, nothing is un-salvageable.
I use Rachel Ray's recipe for Shepherd's Pie. It's the easiest, quickest, and one of the best recipes I have found. I change it up and use ground turkey instead of beef, but I use ground turkey for beef in 99% of what I eat. Rarely do I eat red meat (you know, the odd cheeseburger at the drive-thru and the celebration steak dinner) so I sub ground turkey. I have a really great local store that sells it for a really great price and it's also free range, antibiotic free, and what I like to call 'happy turkey'.
I often forget to put peas in, but put corn, or some other random veggie that's in the freezer. Whatever tickles your fancy. I use baby carrots instead of momma or daddy carrots because then I can pack them in my lunches or eat for snacks. Cut them up in rounds. Making the roux for the gravy is a really great trick to know. And, you can never have too much Worchestershire Sauce (I say woosh-shh-sure because that's how someone in the UK said it when I lived there - they're authentic, they know how to say it, right?). Use your nose.
Also, I always end up making enough for about 3 armies. I don't know how, but I do. This particular batch I made with red potatoes and I mashed them with butter, milk, garlic, and a little onion. So yum. Added an extra dimension of flavor.
This is one of my favorite comfort foods ever. I have no problem eating this every day for a week or so. I suppose it makes sense with my English/Irish/Scottish/Welsh/German heritage: we love our meat and potatoes. ;)
So, enjoy. Those are my tips about this recipe. Mix it up, sit by the fire with your lovies (mine drools on my leg begging me for some but he can't eat onions because dogs aren't allowed to have those), and enjoy.
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