If you’re in the mood for comfort food, try this Shepherd’s Pie recipe. It’s an easy recipe for baking with kids.
*Full Disclosure* My youngest child HATES mashed potatoes and literally “teared” up when I told him he had to try it. The rule in our house is that you have to at least try everything on your plate. It really isn’t worth fighting with the kids to clean their plates. Most days I put my heart and energy into preparing a balanced dinner for my family, but some days, I just call my husband and ask him to pick up a pizza on his way home ‘cause Mama needs a break!
|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Cook Time||30 minutes|
- 1 lb Ground chuck
- 1/2 onion diced
- 4 large Carrots sliced
- 1 cup Peas frozen
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup Beef broth
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 box Instant Mashed Potatoes (optional)
- 5 cups Potatoes peeled & cuts
- 1 cup water
- 4 T Butter
- 1/2 cup Milk
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Begin by dicing ½ of a small, sweet onion. I advise leaving the dicing to the grownups. Place diced onions along with the ground chuck into a saute pan and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Begin by dicing ½ of a small, sweet onion. I advise leaving the dicing to the grownups. Place diced onions along with the ground chuck into a saute pan and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Once the meat is cooked, carefully remove the fat from the pan. My Momma likes to keep an empty Crisco cannister in her pantry to collect fat before she throws the can away. I’m not that resourceful, so I simply pour the fat into a small bowl, let it solidify and then scoop it out into the trash can. Most children that are old enough to know not to touch the stove will love helping you with cooking the meat. It’s fun to watch it transform as it sizzles in the pan.
- While the meat and onions are cooking, peel 4 large carrots. Our 7 year old really enjoys peeling carrots and watching the peels land anywhere except in the trash can. Next, slice the carrots into uniform sizes so they will cook evenly. However, if you’re a busy mom like me, just do the best you can and move on with your life. We like carrots a lot in our family so we added about 2 cups once they were cut. You can adapt to meet your family's tastes.
- Before adding the carrots to the beef, pour in ½ - ¾ cup of beef broth. Little helpers are great at using can openers and measuring liquids. Keep the leftover broth nearby because you may need to add some later if the mixture starts to get dry. Next, add 1 cup of frozen green peas to the mix. Don’t forget to stir. I recommend using a wooden spoon to stir unless of course you don’t have any wooden spoons in your house because your beloved fur-baby has chewed them all up. In that case, use whatever spoon you have around and keep your eyes open for sneaky furbabies. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- While the yummy, beefy goodness is simmering on low, start working on your mashed potatoes. Around my house, we are a “boil potatoes, drain off the liquid, add butter and milk and mash until slightly lumpy” kind of family. Make your mashed potatoes however your family prefers, but today I decided to mix things up and use my Instant Pot. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Peel, rinse and chop 6 nice sized yellow potatoes. Add 1 cup of water to the 6-quart pot. Place the trivet inside the pot and then add your chopped potatoes. Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing before manually adjust the cooking time to 6 minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, carefully do a quick pressure release. Once all of the pressure is gone, remove the lid and your potatoes are ready to be mashed. Drain off the excess water and then whip, mix, mash or stir your potatoes until they taste the way you like them. We added 4 tablespoons of butter, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and ½ cup of milk to our potatoes.
- All this time, your beef and veggie mixture should be simmering in a warm beef broth bath. Once the carrots are tender, pour the beef mixture into a casserole dish. Take your carefully prepared mashed potatoes and spread them out on top of the yummy goodness. Place the casserole dish in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and slightly golden.
- I like to round out this meal with a side of cooked yellow squash and a bowl of chopped fruit. Strawberries, grapes, and apples are our favorite combination, but I typically use whatever fruit I have on hand. Cutting strawberries are one of my favorite ways to teach basic knife skills to our kids. Bananas are another great fruit to practice using a knife on.
- Dinner is served! I hope you and your family enjoy this simple, affordable and yummy dish!