My niece is ill and receiving treatment. She is likely to recover. Meanwhile, during the weeks she receives treatment, friends bring dinners for her and her family. Tonight I got to bring something. I was excited to do this, so a couple days ago I googled for a recipe I thought her family would enjoy: Shepherd's Pie. They all like potatoes.
I put it together last night. I made it from scratch. Peeled and cut up five pounds of potatoes, mashed them by hand with a masher, added butter, sour cream, milk—but forgot to season with salt and pepper. And I cooked the meat; I cut up the onions and carrots very tiny in the hopes that my niece's children would not even notice them. (Only one great-niece noticed and picked out one little piece of carrot.) I did remember to season the meat.
I made two pans full. In one, I put peas on top of the meat before adding the potatoes, and in the other I put corn. I divided the mashed potatoes between the two pans and smoothly spread them out. I sprinkled some kernels of corn on top of the pan that had corn under the potatoes, so I would know which was which. Then I covered them with foil and put them in the fridge.
Tonight I brought them over, along with some salad and rolls. I added grated cheese to the top and heated them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. I stayed for supper because I wanted to find out if my recipe had been good. I liked it.
It was een beetje flauw because I had forgotten to season the potatoes, but with a little salt and pepper I enjoyed it. I had intentionally made it mild—not adding garlic powder or onion powder or rosemary—because I did not want my niece's children to reject it for having strange flavors. If I were to make it for adults, I would add more things such as garlic and rosemary. But even so, it was pretty good.
This is a picture of the one with peas:
The recipe I worked from said to use the whole 5-pound batch of potatoes on one pie, but I divided it between two. It turned out to be quite enough, in my opinion.