Monday, December 21, 2009

Shepherd's Pie and Shepherd's Pocket

I don't know why, but lately I have been wanting to make Shepherd's Pie. I've never had it, never made it, never seen it made...but it popped into my mind (probably the result of having FoodNetwork constantly on my TV, whether I'm watching it or not). So, after some research and tweaking, here's my rendition.

Customary Shepherd's Pie

1 lb ground beef
1 can green beans (drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet onion soup mix (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Minced garlic (2 heaping spoonfulls)
Chopped onion (maybe 2/3 cup?)
1 tsp rosemary
Olive oil
{Mashed potatoes for topping}

Brown beef in dutch oven-type dish. Drain grease and keep beef out of dish. Sprinkle a few tsp of olive oil in pan. Allow to warm and add onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes and then add garlic. (it's important to do it this way, so that the garlic doesn't burn and the onions cook all the way through) Add beef and add all other ingredients back into pot; mix well. Spread beef mixture into baking dish so that beef mixture is about 2-3 inches thick. Spread mashed potatoes on top, covering all beef. Bake in 350* oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown.

Shepherd's Pockets (as Ross named them)

Follow previous recipe, except use 1/2 a packet of onion soup mix instead of entire pack. Omit mashed potatoes and use pop-out French bread dough instead. I like Pillsbury brand--it's by the biscuits in the cold section at the store.

Make beef filling. Roll out french bread dough. If you look carefully, there is a seam and you can unroll it. Cut into pieces that are twice the desired size of finished pocket. (you are going to fold it over) Place a few spoonfulls of filling in center of half of the dough. Fold dough over beef to create pocket. Press edges firmly together. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

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