In almost every culture there is a dish that makes use of leftovers, a kind of “everything but the kitchen sink” recipe. The Irish Shepherd’s Pie was originally made with leftover mutton or lamb, covered with a gravy, combined with whatever vegetables were available, and covered with mashed potatoes. Once this dish came to the United States we modified it to include beef rather than mutton. One day after work I needed to figure out how to cook the hamburger I had defrosted. We had three sons and meat and potatoes were always a favorite. I had the inspiration to use Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup as the gravy. Since then I have served this dish on multiple occasions and it has always been a success.
When my sons come home this is a dish they always request. Alex Kleinberg once called me from college to ask about this recipe as he wanted to cook dinner for a young lady he was interested in. The way to a woman’s heart seems to be the same as the way to a man’s heart! My husband once cooked it for a potluck featuring dishes from each person’s ethnic background. I gave quite a few people the recipe and everyone loves it.
I don’t know what to say about how many it serves – anywhere from 5-6 people would be my guess. It’s a great dish to heat up the next day too.
Shepherd’s Pie (aka Cottage Pie)
2 lbs hamburger meat
¼ onion chopped
2 cans Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup
l frozen package of peas & carrots
5 or 6 large Yudon Gold potatoes
3 cloves garlic
½ cube butter
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional: Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Peel potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil them with the cloves of garlic in water with a bit of salt until you can easily pierce them with a fork. Drain the water and add ½ cube butter. Mash them and add milk until the texture is right. Brown the hamburger and diced onion in a skillet. Drain the grease from the hamburger and add 2 cans Golden Mushroom soup. Place the hot hamburger mixture in a casserole dish. Crumble the peas and carrots over the mixture (don’t precook). “Frost” the mashed potatoes over the top. Bake the casserole covered in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and then uncover the casserole and return to the oven for another 10 minutes to brown the potatoes. Optional: After the casserole is cooked, spread grated cheddar cheese on top and return it to the oven until the cheese is melted.