Friday, January 7, 2011

Shepard's Pie with Port Wine

Helloooooo friends! How's the new year working out for you? How about those resolutions? Me, I did not make any resolutions this year. Why, you might ask? Well, honestly, I never see them through! I wish I could say to you that I am a disciplined person, one who is capable of trudging through any adversity, but that would be a lie. I have difficulty just fulfilling my daily plans and intentions! So, this year I have taken a different perspective on this glorious new year. I start each day by asking God to reveal to me His plans for my day, and to please keep myself from getting in His way so that I may carry out those plans. I then empower myself with the scripture of Psalm 139:23-24, which I want to share with you. It says, " Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the everlasting." (NIV)

What a prayer! I can tell you, it is not easy to give your life totally over to the lord, though it should be. We Christians tend to "cut off our nose in spite of our face!" It is our sinful nature to want to be in complete control of EVERYTHING! At least it is mine. Ok, where am I going with this?! My point is, if you are a failure at New Year's resolutions, IT IS OK! Let me repeat that, IT IS OK! Set realistic goals and pray for guidance and determination in meeting them. Realize that there will be many failures no matter what you do, but if you keep on trying and learn fromthose failures the end rewards will be phanomenal!

So without me rambling on any further, here is a GREAT recipe the whole family is sure to love. And if they don't, you might want to have their tastebuds checked out! J/K! It is Shepard's Pie. I'm sure many of you have heard of it! I got to wondering though, what the history of this all-in-one dish is and where it generated from. So, because I want my reader's to have the culinary knowledge of a scholar, here is what I learned. The first mention of Shepard's pie is in 1885, but it is believed to have existed LONG before then. It is popular in the UK and mainly made with sheep or mutton, hence the name "Shepard's". We make it here in the states mostly with beef' which actually is referred to as "Cottage Pie" in the UK. My version is different from the traditional recipes, but hey, I'm like that. If you like satisfying meal, my version of Shepard's Pie is sure to placate your appetite!

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Shepard's Pie with Port Wine
For the Beef Mixture
5 lbs. chuck roast, fat trimmed and cut into 1 in. cubes
5 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 med. sweet onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 pkg. sliced baby bello mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups beef stock (or broth)
1/2 cup tawny port wine (you can find at your local wine store)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. herbs de provence (which are made of thyme, rosemary, oregano, savory and basil) Yes, you can make your own at home.
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 cup sweet peas

* In a large stockpot or dutch oven, pour olive oil into pot over med-high heat. Place beef into pot and brown on all sides. Add onions, carrots and mushrooms.Cook until slightly tender. Add flour, stir. Add chopped garlic. Cook one minute longer, stirring constantly. Add beef stock (or broth), port wine and water. Next add salt, pepper, herbs and garlic powder. Reduce heat to low cover and simmer about 1 and 1/2 hours to 2 hours. Meat should be nice and tender. (You can add more port if you like, depending on your taste, this is some pretty stout stuff!)

For the Potatoes

4 medium baking potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream (light)
2 tbsp. milk or half-n-half

*Boil potatoes until tender. In a mixing bowl, blend potatoes, butter,salt, sour cream and milk until creamy.

In a deep dish pie plate or baking dish ,(sprayed with cooking spray or buttered), place in beef mixture, cover with peas and mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. I even spread shredded cheddar over the peas and then again sparingly over the potatoes.

Bake in a 350 degree oven til potatoes are brown around the edges and cheese has melted. Serve in individual bowls. Enjoy your hearty meal!


Jennifer Werneth said...

again - yum and yum! btw, thanks for turning my frown upside down yesterday!

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