Classic with a Twist

Shepard’s pie was a staple growing up. In fact while some would claim macaroni and cheese as their childhood comfort food, I would actually say this was my favorite childhood comfort food. And still is today. And of course the school lunch program had it at least once a week.

If you are not familiar with “shepard’s pie” perhaps you would recognize it by some of its other names; “Chinese pie” or “cottage pie.”

Whatever you call it there are basic characterizations: meat on the bottom, veggie in the middle and mashed potato topping. A fine casserole indeed.

You can read a cute blog entry about it here and also there is a good classic recipe shown as well. (Although I never put peas in mine and never eat it with ketchup.)

The other night I made this classic with a twist.

In true cabinet stew mentality I was using up what I had in the fridge, freezer and cabinets. So that turned out to be some Italian “pepper and onions” sausage, frozen spinach and potatoes.

I baked the potatoes in the morning while I was doing other things so I could just peel and mash later. Easy and I hate peeling and boiling potatoes for mashed!

Although I took the spinach out and let it sit to defrost in a strainer earlier in the day, I didn’t really make too much effort there. A good mash with a spoon before I used it to get some of the water out.

When dinner time came around all I did was slip the sausage out of their casing and brown them in a pan. They already had tons of seasoning and fat so that was easy too.

Layer the browned, crumbled sausage down first. Mix the spinach with a little salt, pepper, grated nutmeg and grated Romano (just because I am a cheese freak) and layer that on top of the meat. Then I mashed my potatoes with melted butter, warm milk , salt and pepper and layered that on top. A dusting of paprika (traditional) and more grated Romano. (not as traditional)

30 mins in a 350 degree oven and we had a quick, delicious, classic casserole with a twist or maybe just a cabinet stew!

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6 comments on “Classic with a Twist

  1. michael says:

    The smell wafting from the oven led me to this dish like a lamb following a shepherd

  2. Karen says:

    I have never had shepards pie but your recipe sounds very good.

    • cabinet stew says:

      OMG!! you definitely should make the regular Shepard’s pie too- I thought every lunch lady in America served this one up!! The regular one is pretty heavy – this twist is actually a smidgen ( not a lot) lighter and you could use turkey sausage to make it even lighter.

  3. […] crust but I didn’t have a top crust so I decided to make the mashed potato the topping –  Shepard’s pie style! I used 3 potatoes because I wanted a nice fluffy top – if you were doing a crust top then […]

  4. […] around here. I grew up with it and I consider it a childhood comfort food. But I also like to change it up sometimes depending on what I have around the house. Or maybe just to challenge myself into using what is on […]

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