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Garlic Shepherd’s Pie
shepherds_pie 

This Shepherd’s Pie will fill your kitchen with fragrances of potatoes and garlic!  Prepare the potatoes as you prefer: you may boil them in water if you wish, but more vitamins remain if they are steamed with the skins on, then peeled.  (Potatoes are a significant source of Vitamin C in the North American diet, and most of the vitamins are found just below the skin.)

This is the assertive sort of Shepherd’s Pie you might expect to find at a garlic festival, so if you have an important business meeting the next day you might want to leave out some of the garlic, or try a Curried Shepherd's Pie . . .

1 ½ lb extra-lean ground beef

1 cup minced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

1 tin beef broth plus ½ tin of water

1 tbls each crushed peppercorns & dried thyme

1 tsp ground savory

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp hot sauce, optional

1 bay leaf

½ cup frozen corn, defrosted

½ cup chopped carrots

A serving of Shepherd's Pie garnished with paprika.
Fresh Thyme

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2 lb potatoes, steamed and riced or mashed (5-6 medium)

6 cloves garlic, pressed

¾ cup buttermilk

1 egg, beaten (1 tbls reserved for garnish)

1 tsp salt

white pepper, optional

Steam potatoes in the microwave, then peel and rice or mash.  Beat in egg and buttermilk with garlic, salt, and pepper.
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In a large lightly oiled saucepan, brown the beef and break up any lumps in the mince.  When the beef is browned, add the onions and stir.  Add the garlic after a few minutes and continue simmering until transparent.  Stir in the flour, then add the beef broth and water and stir to achieve a smooth consistency; add the bay leaf.  Add the vegetables and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. 
A baked Shepherd's Pie

Stir in the seasonings, then spread the mixture into a lightly oiled 11” x 7” baking pan or lasagna pan.

Beat the buttermilk and egg into the potatoes and garlic with salt and pepper, reserving 1 tbls of egg to brush over the potatoes.  Drop the potatoes from a spoon or pipe them over the beef using an icing bag with a large tip.

Shepherd's Pie is served ...

Brush the reserved egg over the surface and sprinkle on a little coarse salt, cracked pepper, or paprika, if desired.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is bubbling in a 400° F oven, or 375° F if your baking dish is glass.  Serve with bitters or stout, if you are fortunate enough to have some . . .

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