3. Shepherd’s Pie
When I was a kid, my mother used to make this for me and I still love it to this day. Most recipes call for beef, but you can also go for ground lamb should you prefer it.
Fun fact: In England (and Australia and New Zealand) they would call the beef dish a “cottage pie” and the lamb dish “shepherd’s pie”.
I won’t lie, sometimes I skip on making real mashed potatoes and spring for the instant ones. My family doesn’t even know the difference! I mean, really, it’s the thought that counts, right? Now shhh and eat your pie!
Easy Shepherd’s Pie for a Family of Four:
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and quartered
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1-2 cups vegetables—diced carrots, corn, peas
- 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice
1. Peel and quarter your potatoes, add them into a pot and bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and then cook until tender. (This should take approximately 20 minutes.)
2. While cooking your potatoes, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until tender, about 6 to 10 minutes. For vegetables, add them in towards the last 2 minutes of cooking the onion.
3. Brown the ground beef/lamb with the onions and vegetables. Season as desired. Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Bring the broth to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth if necessary to keep the meat from drying out.
4. When the potatoes are done cooking (a fork can easily pierce), remove them from the pot and place them in a bowl with the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter. Mash with a fork or potato masher, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the beef, onions, and vegetables (if using) in an even layer in a large baking dish (8×13 casserole). Then spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the meat about an inch thick. Rough up the surface of the mashed potatoes with a fork so there are peaks that will get well browned. You can even use a fork to make creative designs in the mashed potatoes.
6. Place in a 400°F oven and cook until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. If necessary, broil for the last few minutes to help the surface of the mashed potatoes brown.
(Easy shepherd’s pie recipe courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com)
4. Chicken Noodle Casserole
Pretty much every kid on earth is crazy for chicken noodle soup, so a casserole of basically the same ingredients should be a hit in your home! And better yet, adults should like this one, too!
- 1 (12 oz.) package egg noodles, cooked & drained
- 2 (10 oz.) cans chunk chicken breast, drained* (store-bought rotisserie chicken also works great.)
- 2 (10 oz.) cans Cream of Chicken soup, undiluted
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup milk (or water depending on personal preference)
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 stick butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine chicken, Cream of Chicken soup, mayonnaise, milk (or water), diced onion, shredded cheese and frozen peas and carrots. Stir until combined. Then gently stir in cooked egg noodles.
4. Pour in baking dish.
5. Sprinkle top with Panko bread crumbs.
6. Pour melted butter evenly over top of bread crumbs.
7. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes until bubbly and top is golden brown.
(Recipe courtesy of TheCountryCook.net.)