Friday, October 26, 2012

Shepherd's Pie, ala Monster

Here's a twist on a classic shepherd's pie. Normally one just spoons/smears mashed potatoes over the top. These spooky little monsters/ghosts are made with a mixture of mashed potatoes, eggs, cheese, and spices; then shaped and decorated. You could even tint the little guys colors to match your party!

Shepard's pie ala monster
Robert was my helper today. Aren't his ghosts spooky?

Pie mixture;
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, etc)
1 pound ground beef
1&1/2 beef gravy
Whatever other veggies you want, like half an onion, a can of tomatoes, etc.

Potato mixture;
2 cups water
2&1/4 cups potato flakes
1/4 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
2 eggs

First you want to cook the ground beef in a skillet until you can't see any pink. If you're going to add onions, which I do, cook them with the beef.

Drain it well, then dump it into your pan. I use a 9x13 inch Pyrex, but you can use any baking pan that holds about 2 quarts. Drain and add any canned veggies now.

About this point you need to put the two cups of water on to boil for the potatoes.

Put the frozen veggies (minus some peas or something for eyes) in the skillet with a dash of water, and heat until all visible ice is gone and they are warm to the touch. You could cook them all the way, but you'll cook them in the oven so why bother?

Dump the veggies in the pan and add the gravy. Mix it all up and smooth it down a bit so it's nice and flat for the monsters.

Now that your potato water is boiling, pull it off the stove and add all but the eggs. It should be rather stiff. Give it about five minutes (time to wash that skillet^^) and add the eggs. Once you've done mixing it should be cool enough to touch and work with.

Shape those monsters with your hands (and your little kitchen helpers, as long as they don't try and eat it. Raw eggs, yuck). Decorate with reserved veggies. (I just used peas for the picture. Lima bean eyes, carrot spikes, or corn bumps would be fun.) Any leftover veggies from decorating can just be dumped into the baking pan. Put your monstrous potatoes on top and bake until potatoes are slightly brown (about 20 minutes)

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