Posts Tagged ‘mashed potatoes’

When I was a kid, my parents enrolled me and my sister in the Nancy Greene Ski League. The two of us would spend our days whooshing down the ski hills at Camp Fortune, while my parents would escape into the backwoods to go cross-country skiing. After a long day of skiing, our entire family would enjoy a few rituals: clementines and Toblerone in the car on the way home and Shepherd’s pie for dinner. Our family was content eating President’s Choice’s Shepherd’s Pie — until it was featured in the Ottawa Citizen as one of the top 10 food items filled with saturated fat. Needless to say, we quickly (although sadly) abandoned our Saturday night favourite.

Our family tried to find a store-bought alternative – but inevitably, the Shepherd’s pie would be a little dry or the potatoes would be lacking any flavour. Since I love Shepherd’s pie, I decided to invent my own version. Inspired by my grandmother’s tortiere recipe, I developed the following last winter and have yet to look back. The secret is the cream of mushroom soup: it keeps the ground beef ever so rich and creamy.

This recipe makes 1 13×9-inch Shepherd’s pie – although I often divide it into two. The larger of the Shepherd’s pies (9×9 baking dish) goes straight into the oven, while the second (in a banana loaf pan) goes straight into my freezer for a future delicious dinner. This is the very essence of comfort food on a cold winter’s eve!

Shepherd’s Pie
(serves 12)

1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
2 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 large splash Worcester sauce
1 large dollop Heinz Chili sauce
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 large can kernel corn, drained

8 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters/sixths
2 tablespoons butter
Large splash of milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Your favourite cheese (Mozerella, Cheddar, and/or, Parmesan)

Saute the meat, onions, garlic, celery, and carrot together until the meat is browned and the veggies are cooked through. Drain off any extra fat. Stir in the mushroom soup, Worcester, chile, and thyme, and simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes to reduce the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper (if so desired, add more heat with Tobasco and more tomato flavour with the Chile sauce). Stir in the corn.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large pot of boiling water. Drain once the potatoes are cooked. Mash the potatoes with the butter and milk, adding more milk if necesasry. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the meat mixture to a 9×13 baking pan. Gently spread the mashed potatoes overtop. Bake for 20 minutes or until the meat mixture begins to bubble. Sprinkle as much grated cheese overtop. Bake for a further 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Broil until the cheese is bubbly.

Bon appetit!

– Catherine

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I have never really been a meat-and-potato kind of gal.  I struggled most with mashed potatoes: some cold and lumpy, others rather bland, even at times the consistency of glue, this dish generally did not appeal to me.  And then, a few weeks ago over Thanksgiving, I was introduced to the brilliant idea of putting horseradish into mashed potatoes.  It gives the potatoes a little kick and richness in flavour without needing pounds of butter.  I believe I may even have been converted for life to horseradish mashed potatoes.

Halifax today is dreary: blustering winds carrying nearly freezing rain. My antidote to the weather?  A homey meal of bangers and mash, jazzed up with horseradish.  Perhaps deep at heart, I am a meat-and-potato kind of gal after all.

Bangers and horse-radish infused mash, with peas and beet greens

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

(serves 2-3)


4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces



1-2 tablespoons horseradish (more or less, given the strength of your horseradish)

Salt and pepper to taste


Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water, drain.  Mash butter and milk into your potato to your liking.  Mash in the horseradsih, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  A perfect way to spice up your mashed potatoes!


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