In the past 24 hours, Colorado’s weather has been all over the place. Yesterday, the temperature was about 80* F and I was quite comfortable in shorts. Last night, when I left swim practice, the wind was howling and the temperature had dropped about 25*. This morning, it was cold, but not terrible and no snow. Thursdays are my busy class days, and I had a break in between classes this morning, so my boss sent me on a coffee run to Starbucks. From the time I first got into work until the time I left for coffee, the sky had dropped about 4″ of fresh snow, and it is still snowing. This is our first snow of the season too. It’s a little early, but not unheard of. But for this being our first snow, we are getting hit pretty hard. It’s like Fall was only here for a short time and then all of a sudden – B-O-O-M!!!! Winter hit, out of nowhere. I cancelled my other two classes for today, and believe me, I am very glad I did too. The roads were a mess, and there were quite a few accidents. Some roads have already been closed. My car thermometer read 19* F when I got home. It is very cold outside, but at least I made it home safe and sound. I am enjoying another “cuppa” as I write, to help “warm the cockles of my heart”.
This is what it looks like right now at my house.
I knew the snow was coming, but I did not expect so much. Last night was a cold night too, but nothing like today. I was prepared though and made a hearty Shepherd’s pie. When I first mentioned it to Larry, he was not so keen on the idea because he thought it was to warm to make it, but when we were eating it last night, he was glad I made that choice. It really helped warm us up. It was just a simple meal of my Shepherd’s pie with some warmed sourdough bread and red wine. This is one of our wines that we made. (I know, I had a smudge on my lens, but I have since cleaned it off).
Jeanne’s Shepherd’s Pie
2-3 lbs ground hamburger
1/2 onion, diced fine
1 carrot, diced fine
1 cup of frozen peas
3 potatoes, one cut into a small dice for the filling and the other two for mashed potatoes
1 TBSP garlic
1 cup of green beans, cut small – I used fresh, frozen are fine too.
1/2 cup flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream – about 1/2 cup for the filling and the rest for the mashed potatoes
salt & pepper to taste
butter/olive oil for cooking and more butter for the mashed potatoes
Cook one potato, the garlic, onions and vegetables in the butter/olive oil until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes, then add the ground beef, mix in thoroughly and continue to cook until the beef is completely cooked. Add the seasonings and the thyme and mix together thoroughly.
Once the meat is completely cooked, add the flour and the cream and mix in well to make your sauce and to bind everything together.
When the sauce is made, continue to cook for about 5 minutes, at a reduced heat. Then spoon the mixture either into a baking pan or individual ramekins sprayed with cooking spray.
While the filling is cooking, boil the other potatoes to make the mashed potatoes. Normally, I like my mashed potatoes a little heavier, but for this dish, I made them nice and creamy so I could pipe them onto the filling. I make my mashed potatoes with heavy whipping cream, but you can make them however you like. When the potatoes are cooked, mash them up, making sure to get all the lumps out. You can either spoon them onto the filling or pipe them with a piping bag. I like to pipe mine. Once the filling has been topped with the potatoes, bake at 350* F or 180* C for about 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly golden on top and have a little bit of a crust to them. Then, eat away and enjoy the simple goodness of Shepherd’s Pie.