Wednesday, November 16, 2011

bring on the comfort

I hate cold weather (which to me is anything below like, 50). My plan when the clouds roll in and the rain starts to fall (which, in Seattle, is like, October through may) is usually to get out of town or snuggle somewhere relaxing with the hubster, but when I'm alone, it's all about movies and comfort food. I must say, I love to cook. There's something that is so satisfying about being able to combine fresh ingredients in a way that just makes you warm all over.
In the spirit of this, I made one of my favorites this week: Shepard's Pie. Now, I'm sure there's a standard recipe for this dish, I'm not fully aware of it, but this is my version...

Sara's Shepard's pie
1 lb ground beef (or whatever you use)
1 onion, sliced
a handful of your favorite mushrooms, sliced
1 C + 1 C (or so) heavy cream
1 bunch of kale, coarsely chopped
1 C corn (or the corn from 1 ear, but frozen or canned is fine)
1 C peas (frozen or canned are fine)
4-5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 C grated cheddar cheese (I used Dubliner)
& have these available for flavor:
butter/olive oil

Brown the beef, boil and mash the potatoes (add butter, cream, salt, and/or pepper to taste), and saute the onions (I used olive oil). cover them and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, combine 1C cream, mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, stirring continuously until it starts to thicken a bit.
in a casserole dish (9x11 or 13) spread the beef along the bottom of the dish. pour the mushroom cream evenly over the beef. layer the sauteed onions on top of that.
in a large saute pan, saute kale until bright in color. reduce heat. add 1 C cream or enough to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. dust with salt, pepper and nutmeg. cover and let simmer for 20 min. or until most of the moisture has evaporated. stir. (try not to lift the lid very much during the simmering off process)
add peas and corn on top of the onions and beef/mushroom cream while the kale is simmering.
add kale layer on top of peas and corn layer.
spread mashed potatoes on top of the kale layer.
sprinkle cheese on top of potatoes layer.
place in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 min. or until bubbly, and cheese has started to brown.
let cool before serving.

I was able to use fresh corn, kale and ground beef from local farms and potatoes from our own garden. score!

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