A Hundred Thank-yous ☺️ Shepherd’s Pie

 

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It has been a year since I started my blog and have surprisingly reached 100 followers. I started this journey with no expectations except to share my thoughts, experiences and joy of cooking with all of you. I have learned that there is an amazing community of bloggers out there who are kind, interesting and very skilled. To each and every one of you who took the time to read my blog, I thank you for letting me into your homes. It is, however, time for me to move on and try something different. I leave you with a final recipe that I hope you enjoy.

🍐 PREP: 45 minutes

🍐 COOK: 1 hour, approx.

🍐 INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 kg extra lean ground beef
  • 1 small can (156 ml) tomato paste
  • 2 cups frozen peas, carrots, corn
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • hot sauce, dash or two (optional)
  • all purpose flour, as needed
  • 8-10 potatoes, peeled & cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  •  milk, for desired consistency
  • 4 cups brown gravy

🍐 DIRECTIONS:

1. In a deep pan drizzle in olive oil and heat up before adding chopped onions. Sauté for a few minutes.

2.  Add your beef to the pan and brown. Mix in your paste, veggies, stock, hot sauce and adjust measurements to your taste. I do not add many other spices due to the gravy topping.

3.  Cook the beef mixture for several minutes and then drain off excessive oils. This is an important step as you want your meat base to be moist but not too runny. If you find the mixture too thin, add 1 Tbsp of flour to thicken.

4.  Place meat mixture in a large casserole dish and gently flatten mixture down. Put aside.

5. In a large pot of water boil potatoes until soft. Drain when done and then in a bowl begin to mash potatoes. Add butter and milk slowly, obtaining preferred consistency while you mash. I tend to like a more rustic potato texture versus a whipped consistency, but the choice is yours.

6   Drop in mashed potatoes to top of meat base, covering evenly with a one inch topping. Do NOT press in potatoes.

7. In a 350 degree preheated oven, bake the shepherd’s pie for approximately 1 hour. I usually take the lid off the casserole dish 15 minutes prior and let the potato peaks brown a bit.

8. Serve with gravy……..of course. I cheat and just use the gravy packages where you just add water to the mixture and boil until thick.

🍐 MANGIA!

🍐 INSPIRATION: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF💕👋 

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Stuffed Green Peppers

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I love the fact that you can combine rice, meat, cheese and vegetables into one little, edible package. Sometimes I’ve used a combination of red, yellow and green peppers for colour. I’ve also stuffed sweet long peppers with sausage meat for a more elegant presentation. Either way you will have a reliable and tasty hit on your hands every time 🏆

🍐 PREP: 30 min

🍐 COOKING: Approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees (or until peppers are soft)

🍐 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • Olive oil (for pan & and top of peppers)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 can (398 ml) plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 6 green peppers, medium size

🍐 DIRECTIONS:

  1. Chop your onions and garlic and then place in oiled frying pan. Sauté for a couple minutes.
  2. Add ground meat and brown for a few minutes. While the meat is cooking add tomatoes, spices and cheese. Reserve 1 cup of mozzarella for later use.
  3. Prepare your green peppers by cutting off the tops (1/2 inch thick) and carving out the seeds and white membrane. Place upright in large casserole dish.
  4. Chop up the green part of the pepper tops and add to ground beef, along with cooked rice. Continue to cook the meat & rice mixture for a few more minutes.
  5. Then stuff the green peppers with  this mixture and sprinkle on a bit more mozzarella and oregano on the top.
  6. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the stuffed peppers. Cook until soft and bubbly. Keep covered until last 15 min or so.

🍐 TIP: If you like make-ahead meals, stuffed peppers can be stored in fridge for use the next day. Just make sure the ground beef is well cooked on the stove top.

🍐 MANGIA! 

 

 

 

Chilli

Nothing says warmth and comfort like chilli. It was not really a dish I grew up with, but one you learn when life gets busy with work and kids and you’re
making an effort to eat healthy. My secret ingredient is hot sauce. Another tip is to have tacos or sloppy joes the next night with the leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, lean
  • 2 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder, Hot Sauce, to taste
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can mushrooms/ or fresh, chopped
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp of tomatoe paste
  • 1 can of white kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can of brown beans, drained
  • 1 can of red beans, drained
  • 1 large jar, tomatoe sauce, your favourite
  • Cheddar cheese, to taste
  1. In a large skillet, drizzle in oil and when hot add chopped onion. When onion is tender, add in ground beef and cook for a few minutes until browned. Add spices to taste.
  2. When meat is cooked, remove from heat and drain off excess fat and place temporarily aside. In same skillet add garlic and fry until slightly browned (don’t burn it!). Then add vegetables, including green pepper, mushrooms and corn and cook until softened. To vegetables, add stewed tomatoes and paste, mix and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. In a large pot, add in cooked ground beef and cooked vegetable mixture. Continue to add the beans and tomatoe sauce and then let simmer on low for approx. 1 hour, stir occasionally. Taste just before serving as you may want to add more spices to your liking, especially the hot sauce if someone in your house is addicted to Sriracha —you know who you are…..
  4. Mix in some grated cheddar cheese and add a bit for garnish if you like.

Mangia!  (Serves 4)

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