I didn't take pictures of this because I had decided not to make this my "make it" of the day. But then my good friend Andi posted about her dinner here. Ok, I'm decidedly NOT a Northerner- and she's from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but still- Tater Tot Casserole gives me the shivers! When Beatrice was 2 weeks old, and we all of a sudden had 7 extra house guests (including their own 3 day old baby) for a week when our friends were evacuated from the Los Alamos Fire, a very well meaning lady we know from church brought us a Tater Tot Casserole. I couldn't get past how it looked, or smelled, or anything about it. I think I may have tried a bite, but luckily we had a plethora of church ladies bringing us food at that point, so that one I think became dog food. Or maybe Joey ate it? Whatever, I love you Andi, but I HATE Tater Tot Casserole.
In any case, someone pointed out on her Facebook post about her blog that it was similar in concept to Shepherd's Pie. And THAT is what we had for dinner last night!
Side Note- Shepherd's pie is traditionally made with lamb, hence the reference to a Shepherd. Lamb is delicious, and I'd love to have it more. But it's expensive, so I don't. Just another reason to start raising sheep, I guess!
We make dinner for my in-laws every Wednesday, so I couldn't just throw together a hodge podge like I wanted to. So out to the garden I went to discover, to my dismay, that my cabbage, kale and single cucumber had been demolished! So sad! So, I decided to dig up the little crop of potatoes that Joey and Charlotte had planted together, the last of the turnips, cut a few leaves of chard, and went to the kitchen. I pulled out the homemade crust that I made with the remainder or an attempt at almond flour crackers (THAT was a disaster, but it made a delicious crust!) and went to work.
First, I boiled the turnips and potatoes, then I mashed them with butter and whole milk, added some salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, and mixed in 2 eggs, then set aside in the fridge until the rest was done. In the mean time, I browned a pound of grass fed ground beef with sweet onion and garlic. I added the chard on top at the end to wilt it, but I think next time I'll just do the chard on the side- it was a little too bitter for this dish. Corn or peas would have done nicely, had I had them. But no veggie would be fine, as long as you have a side dish (I had sauteed green beans with fire roasted red pepper and pine nuts for our side).
Into the pie pan went my ground beef and onions, followed by 2 more eggs that had been wisked, scrambled style, with a little bit of whole milk. I just poured it evenly over the whole thing. I then added more onions and my chard, but add whatever veggie you want here- just not too much. Then over that I spooned the mashed potatoes, and grated cheese on top. What kind? Whatever- parm, jack, cheddar- whatever you have on hand that will match the flavors inside.
Back in an oven preheated to 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until your in-laws arrive. When you remove from the oven remember to let it set for about 10 minutes before your greedy hands dig it! That way all the liquid will reincorporate and you won't have AS gooey a mess.
Sorry I don't have pictures, but it was delicious, AND beautiful, I promise!
I love you Andi and Joel!
linking back to Real Food Wednesday