Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's PieOkay, so I admit. Shepherd’s pie may not look like the most appetizing dish ever, but it is oh so good. And it’s simple. I like that – simple. It’s four ingredients. Yup, I said four. One, two, three, four. And guess what? You probably already have all four ingredients ready and waiting in your kitchen. Just a warning though, this meal is so good and comforting that you WILL want to take a nap after.

Let’s get started:

1 lb. ground beef (or in my case, ground venison – I’m sure ground turkey would be just as good)
2  packets of instant mashed potatoes (The real stuff would probably be pretty amazing too, but I said easy and I meant it.)
2 cans of creamed corn
Shredded cheese (as much or as little as your heart desires)

This is what our ground venison packaging looks like…

Shepherd's PieCamo packaging anyone? =]

Anyway, back to the recipe!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Brown your ground (enter your meat of choice here) in a skillet.

Shepherd's PieMicrowave your instant potatoes as directed.

I got these at Walmart for $.98 and they're seriously DELICIOUS!

I got these at Walmart for $.98 and they’re seriously DELICIOUS!

Then take out an oven safe bowl and layer your ground meat and creamed corn. Technically you could just dump the ground meat on the bottom and then dump the creamed corn on top of that, but I wanted to feel special and layer my ingredients. It made me feel a little fancy.

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie Layers Before BakedAfter you’ve put in all of your ground meat and creamed corn, you are going to top it with the mashed potatoes.

Shepherd's PieThen sprinkle some cheese on top.

Shepherd's Pie Baked CheeseCheese is one of those ingredients that I never actually measure. It’s just a “however much you feel like putting on” measurement in this household.

Cover the oven safe bowl with foil.

Shepherd's Pie(I like to put my oven safe bowl on top of a cookie sheet before I put it into the oven.) Then pop your mixture into your preheated oven for about thirty minutes.

Shepherd's PieThis is a good time to get your dishes cleaned up so you don’t have as much to do later.
Or check your mail.
Or feed your pets.
Or read a book.
Or, in my case, get on the elliptical! =]

When the timer is up you should have this cheese-y goodness.

Shepherd's Pie Baked

Shepherd's Pie Scooped

This is best when served hot! Mix it up and ta-da! Deliciousness.

This is GREAT for cold nights.

Fireplace

But I would gladly eat it year round. =]

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Taco Dip and Kielbasa

This is a recipe that I got from my lovely mother in law (whose birthday happens to be today so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!). I didn’t take pictures of the process, but I PROMISE this meal is really easy! It must be Mexican dinner week at my house because so far this week I’ve made oven baked chicken fajitas, chicken tortilla soup, and now taco dip with kielbasa. Oops. I try to plan my meals out better than this, but oh well. At least it all tasted great! =]

For the taco dip you will need:

Ground venison (or ground beef)
Tomatoes (diced) ((I think it’s easier to use cherry tomatoes and quarter them, but all I had this time was a big honkin’ slicing tomato so that’s what I used.))
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheese
Block of cream cheese (let the block of cream cheese sit on your counter top to soften while you brown the meat)
Small/medium jar of salsa
Black olives (Optional – my mother in law doesn’t put black olives on hers, but I like them so I do.)
Tortilla chips

All you have to do is brown your meat and then layer layer layer. Take an 8×8 (or 9×9) cake pan and layer/smear your cream cheese across the bottom. Then add the ground meat, diced tomatoes, salsa, shredded lettuce, black olives, and shredded cheese. You can do any order you want, but I find that it’s just easiest to spread the cream cheese across the bottom first.
All you have to do after that is spoon some on your plate and serve with tortilla chips!
It’s a great alternative for tacos.

You could serve this meal just like that and call it a day (or night), but if you want to have something more then you have to try this next part!

For the kielbasa you will need:

Kielbasa (sliced) ((I used store brand polska kielbasa.))
1 can of pineapple chunks
Ketchup
Brown sugar

Don’t hate me for not having measurements, but this is really one of those dishes that is completely “to taste”. After you’ve sliced up your kielbasa, throw it in a big pot, and pour in the can of pineapple chunks (juice included!). Then add enough water to just barely cover your kielbasa and pineapple. It’s always better to start off with not enough water than to add too much from the get-go. (Ask me how I know that.) Put the pot on your stove and set it to about 6 or 7 (medium/high). You want it to get nice and hot, but not boiling. Then gradually start to add ketchup and brown sugar until it’s sweet, but kind of tart, but you can still taste the pineapple flavor from the juice. I know that sounds crazy, but you will know exactly what I’m talking about when you make this. You will probably use quite a bit of ketchup and half as much brown sugar. The color of the juice should be red-ish. Trust me on this – just make it, taste it every so often, add some ketchup and brown sugar when need be and you will not regret it!

Enjoy!