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The holidays call for warm, comforting dishes that can be shared. With creamy mashed potatoes, tender vegetables and rich, tasty meat, shepherd’s pie belongs at your family’s table. Some shepherd’s pie call for tomato flavors, but I prefer to let the vegetables and meat shine. However, do as you please and add the seasonings of your choice.

Happy holidays!

1 pound ground beef, defrosted
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 ounces frozen peas
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 medium brown skinned potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and quartered
3/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons of melted butter + 1 tablespoon unmelted and diced
1 cup of Parmesan (optional)
Two tablespoons of white flour
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to broil.

2. Place potatoes in medium pot and cover with salted water. Bring to boil and let cook til potatoes are very soft – about 10 minutes – then drain and rinse.

3. While potatoes are boiling, heat a little canola oil over medium heat in in a large skillet, then sauté onions and garlic til soft.

4. When onion is translucent, add ground beef to skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until just browned, then remove from pan and set aside.

5. Drain pan and reserve the grease, then return pan to burner and toss in carrots. When carrots are almost soft, stir in peas. Cook til peas are defrosted and carrots are totally soft, then remove vegetables from heat.

6. When potatoes are ready, combine with milk and butter and mash til completely smooth. Add more liquid – a tablespoon at a time – if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Return pan to burner, then whisk together two tablespoons of reserved grease (butter can be used instead of grease) and two tablespoons of flour. Whisk until all clumps are gone, then combine with peas and carrots. Spread veggie mixture into even layer in a 12 x 9″ oven proof pan. Assemble the rest of your pie by next layering the beef, then topping with potatoes. Dab with remaining butter and sprinkle with Parmesan.

8. Broil til golden brown on top – about 6 – 8 minutes. Let cool before serving.