I have been making what I called Shepherds Pie for a number of years, but it was only as I was doing my homework for this post that I found out that what I've really been making is Cottage Pie, which fits since this is Camellia Cottage anyway, right? Shepherds Pie is a traditionally British dish made from leftover lamb and vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes. Cottage Pie is basically any potato topped meat pie, and since I'm not using lamb, Cottage Pie it is, and I'm good with that, really! And while I know that what I make probably bears very little resemblance to any of the more traditionally made Cottage Pies, we still love it and remains on my list of foods to make over and over again!
Camellia Cottage Pie
- 1 pound lean ground beef (chuck or round is best)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil - divided (I use canola)
- 2-3 cups chopped aromatic veggies (I use 1 1/2 C onons, 3/4 C celery, 3/4 C bell peppers)
- 1 can condensed Cream of Celery soup
- beef broth or stock
- 1 12 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (usually has green beans, lima beans, corn, carrots and peas)
- 2 frozen deep dish pie crusts
- assorted herbs and spices
- 2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes - REAL ones, not instant!!!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet, brown ground beef in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Remove from pan to drain.
Add another tablespoon of oil to pan and add aromatic veggies and a pinch of salt, and cook over medium to medium high heat until the onions are just beginning to get tender, or translucent.
Add frozen mixed veggies and cook until they are thawed, stirring well to make sure the aromatics are mixed in well.
Add can of Cream of Celery soup (if you prefer, you can use Cream of Mushroom soup) and about measure some beef broth into the soup can. Start with about 3/4 of a can, stir everything together well, and check the consistency. It should be creamy with a little bit of soup-y-ness, but not too thin. If necessary, add a bit more broth.
Add your seasonings! I am listing what I typically use, but you use what you like: 3/4 to 1 teaspoon additional salt, 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian herbs, 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon each of Onion Powder and Garlic Powder, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (we like a tad of warmth, if you don't, leave it out), black pepper to taste.
Once all of this is mixed together well, divide mixture between the two frozen pie crusts. Place them on cookie sheets and put into the 400 degree oven for about 15 - 20 minutes. When the top of the pies are beginning to look a bit dried out, remove them from the oven. Set one of the pies somewhere to cool, and then top the other with mashed potatoes.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until bubbling and the potatoes are beginning to turn color. Remove aluminum foil and continue baking until the crust is browned a bit. If you want, you can sprinkle some shredded cheese of your choice over the top of the potatoes at this point.
Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. This is great with a side salad!
NOTE: Now for the bonus! This recipe makes two pies, and that is enough for 2-4 people. So if you only need one pie for this meal, take that first pie that you put somewhere to cool, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and then aluminum foil. Label it with name and date, and put it in the freezer! A day or two before you want to eat it, take it out of the freezer and allow to to thaw in the fridge. Make sure you have some leftover mashed potatoes in there, too, and then bake it as above. Whenever I make mashed potatoes I make extras for either this pie or what Mama calls 'potato patties' or potato pancakes, so it's easy to remember as I put away the leftovers, to go get this extra pie out of the freezer! Pie will keep in the freezer for about 3 months or more.
- Use ground chicken or turkey, and cream of chicken soup instead of celery.
- Use 2-3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken meat instead of ground meat.
As I said, this is one of our favorite one dish meals, and is great for those days when I'm out and about and need to come home and make a good meal. I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know!
Be Joyful Always! Becky