Here’s a childhood favorite – when I was young, I never knew anyone that had an actual “recipe” for this, but here’s one I adapted from one of my Mom’s cookbooks: “If it’s Good, it’s Gourmet.”
Traditionally speaking, when made with beef, it really should be referred to as “Cottage Pie.” This is plain, simple cooking but the recipe can be tinkered with in any number of ways.
The cost is $2.99, but as you can see from the nutritional values, you’ll need a vegetable to round out the meal, and perhaps a salad as well. I’m going to serve mine with Glazed Carrots for 71 cents for a total of $3.70 for the meal.
I did have a bit of money left for dessert, so I came up with a recipe for Bosc Pears with Balsamic Reduction - it put me over budget buy 20 cents, adding an additional $1.50 to the meal, but I don’t care! They are that good…
(Shepherd’s pie is actually a great way to dress up leftover stew, as well, especially stew that doesn’t have any potatoes in it – and a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.)
Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie, 4 – 6 Servings – $2.99
- 1 pound ground beef, drained
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced – may be omitted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 2 pinches Fines Herbs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, if desired (my addition from childhood memory)
- 1/2 cup peas, blanched, or frozen
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 pinch nutmeg, go light on this
- 2 – 3 tablespoons butter
- milk, as needed
- 4 ounces swiss cheese, grated
Cook potatoes in boiling water until done, about 15 – 20 minutes. Drain and mash, add butter and enough milk to smooth them out. Salt to taste.
In a pan, brown ground beef, drain. Add onion and carroits and cook until translucent. Add herbs, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Cook an additional two to three minutes. Mix in peas.
Spread meat mixture into the bottom of a casserole, top with mashed potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese during the last 10 minutes of baking. If you’d like the top browned, turn on the broiler for a few minutes.
Money and Time Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
Cook the potatoes while you’re working on the hamburger portion, or use leftover potatoes. Portion out serving sized for the freezer – then bake frozen.
- Hamburger: Buy it in larger packages and break it down. Because I’m draining this well, I’m not as concerned about the actual percentage of fat in the hamburger, and that lets me get by with the less expensive grade. I will sometimes brown up hamburger for more than one dish at a time and refrigerate or even freeze (for a very short time) the rest for another dish. I paid $1.95 for the pound.
- Onion: On sale in the fall, 33 cents a pound, the onion for this was about 5 cents.
- Garlic: You could certainly substitute 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder. I used fresh, cost about 8 cents.
- Parsley: I bring in some from my garden, and with luck don’t kill it too fast! I rarely use dried parsley for anything – I don’t think it brings too much to the playing field. Cost free.
- Worcestershire: Watch for sales coinciding with coupons – I have often gotten for free. I prefer Lea & Perrins, but there is competition between the brands, and whenever that happens, you’ll find coupons now and then. I last paid $.79 cents, so the cost for this recipe is about 4 cents.
- Potatoes: On sale last week for 78 cents a pound, I used four (about 5 ounces each), so the cost was 20 cents. I make this dish sometimes when I have leftover mashed potatoes.
- Butter: Has been on sale for $2.49 a pound, I used 3 tablespoons for 23 cents. Watch for specials now and through the winter holidays – stock up and freeze.
- Cheese: On sale last week, 88 cents for 8 ounces – I used four here, so 44 cents is the cost.
Per Serving (counting 6 servings): 401 Calories; 27g Fat (60.2% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 90mg Cholesterol; 374mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
Put your own spin on it:
- Cheese may be omitted or another type of cheese may be substituted.
- This simple dish could also be spun out different ways – Italian, Mexican, etc, by differing the vegetables and the herbs.
- A touch of red wine in the hamburger would also go a long way to dressing this up – just add a splash while you’re cooking out your onions.
My Payoff – A simple, homey dish for a bargain price. Shepherd’s pie makes a pound of hamburger feel like a meal.