Cottage Pie In Pastry Crust

cottage pie in pastry crust

I was making my weekly meal plan and trying to figure out what to do with not quite a pound of ground beef.  “What about a shepherd’s pie?” I asked the room.

“Shepherd’s pie sounds awesome!” raved Bud. “I love a good crust.”

“But Bud,” I replied, “shepherd’s pie doesn’t have a crust.”

“I bet you could make one, Mom.”

Challenge Accepted.

I used to make a mean shepherd’s pie back in the day. Or, at least, we called it shepherd’s pie. Basically it was saute some ground beef, toss it in a pie plate with brown gravy and mixed vegetables, top it with mashed potatoes and cheese and bake it just long enough for the cheese to melt.

As I was researching shepherd’s pie recipes for a pie crust adaptation, I discovered that what I’ve been calling shepherd’s pie is really cottage pie.

According to Jamie Oliver:

Shepherd’s pie should only be named as such if it contains lamb, and “cottage” usually applies to one made with beef. In fact, the term “cottage pie” predates “shepherd’s pie” by more than a century.

As usual, I couldn’t find a recipe I liked 100%, so I scrounged from a few, plus added my own favorite touches (can’t forget the cheese!) The result was declared DELICIOUS by all.

Cottage Pie In Pastry Crust

Ingredients:

4 potatoes

2 carrots

1 1/2 sheets, frozen puff pastry dough

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium brown onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. dried sage

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup beef broth

1 tsp. lemon pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shredded Mexican four cheese blend

Butter

Half and Half

Salt

Directions:

Take puff pastry out of freezer about 40 minutes before filling. You want it to still be quite cold, and the filling piping hot. This seems to prevent the bottom crust from getting soggy.

Wash and peel the potatoes and carrots. Cut the potatoes and carrots in half. Boil for about 20 minutes. Remove the carrots and chop roughly. Mash the potatoes with butter, half and half, and salt to taste. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large frying pan, saute the onion, garlic and herbs until the onion is tender. Add the ground beef and cook until brown.

Reduce heat to low. Stir in flour, lemon pepper and salt. Pour in the beef broth and carrots and stir until mixture thickens. Add a little more flour or broth, as necessary, to get the proper consistency.

Trim puff pastry and place in the bottom and on the sides of a 9″x9″ square pan. Pour in the beef mixture. Level it out. Place the mashed potato on top and level it out. Cut the remaining puff pastry into thin strips and place around the 4 edges of the pan. Sprinkle the exposed mashed potato with cheese.

Bake for about 55 minutes, until cheese and potato are browned. You may need to place foil around the edges for the last 10 minutes or so, so the thin strips of puff pastry don’t burn.

cottage pie in pastry crust

Enjoy!!

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St. Patrick’s Day Candy Buffet

St. Patrick's Day candy

St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching!! I am at least 1/16 Irish (kiss me under the Blarney stone ?) It’s about time I had a St. Patrick’s Day party (albeit a little early).

I found the perfect candy for my St. Patrick’s Day candy buffet at SweetServices.com, the online candy store. They have all the green and gold candy you can imagine: from sour apple Airheads or Jolly Rancher, to green and gold M&Ms. SweetServices.com has candy for all occasions and in many different colors and varieties.  They are the perfect resource for any candy party!

St. Patrick’s Day Candy Buffet

Materials:

Sky blue posterboard

Trifold foam board

St. Patrick's Day candy

Shamrock dish towel

green glass dish

white & green shamrock spray

leprechaun hats

white paper

hot glue gun

mint chocolate mini cupcakes (store bought)

chocolate gold coins (from SweetServices.com)

bulk Starburst candies (from SweetServices.com)

Directions:

The shamrock dish towel became the base for my candy display. My  mother-in-law has a beautiful, green, glass snack dish, which she was happy to loan. I put the shamrock spray in the center of the dish, laid chocolate gold coins on the bottom, then topped the coins with miniature mint chocolate cupcakes from the local grocery store bakery (hey, I can’t always do it all. Sometimes it’s okay to let someone else do the baking 😉

St. Patrick's Day candy

Next, I turned one of the leprechaun hats into a pot o’ gold. I turned it upside down and filled it with chocolate gold coins, spilling some around the edges, as well.

But the pièce de résistance was the backdrop. Using sky blue posterboard, I freehanded a rainbow using Starbursts and a hot glue gun. I made sure to put the glue on the top of each candy wrapper, where the logo is. That way, my guests can still open the wrappers to pull the candies off the display. I glued a white paper cloud on the short end of the rainbow and placed my pot o’ gold at the bottom of the long end. Finally, I mounted the posterboard to a piece of trifold foam board (that many Starbursts is heavier than you would think!)

St. Patrick's Day candy

Check out SweetServices.com for all your candy buffet needs!

I received a promotional item in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

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