Faux Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients: Ground beef, potatoes, mixed veggies, cream of chicken soup, milk and corn starch... how could you go wrong? Simple. Inexpensive. Yummy.

*Note: I'm pretty sure that I have never used corn starch before- so I had to make a mad dash last minute run to get some... don't worry if you need to purchase some too, mine was only $1.29!

I decided to start with the potatoes. I peeled and boiled 5 good sized potatoes. I did have a bit left over- but I'm OK with that... wink!

The recipe calls for STIFF mashed potatoes, which means NO milk or butter can be added. So I decided to whip out my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer and let it do the hard work of mashing for me! (I WILL NEVER HAND MASH AGAIN...EVER!)

Bonus features from using a mixer (just in time for Thanksgiving... you're welcome!)
1. Perfectly smooth mashed potatoes!
2. All of the swirling helped to cool the potatoes more quickly.
3. I could attend to making the rest of the recipe- I simply just walked away!
4. No muscle fatigue or cranky attitude flare up mid-mashing!

I added one pound of my previously cooked ground beef. It is important NOT to drain the beef, as this adds to the flavoring of the dish. I used Angus, which left me with less 'juices' than other varieties may have.

Once the ground beef has been thoroughly cooked, I added the contents of one can of cream of chicken soup. Mix well and heat thoroughly.

While my meat and soup were melding together on the stove top, I stirred one cup of milk and one tablespoon of cornstarch together.

It is important not to have any cornstarch lumps - so I made sure to smash the back of my spoon into the side of the measuring cup while stirring to break apart any lumps that I found.

TIP: Once you are satisfied that your contents are thoroughly mixed, pour immediately into the pot on the stove. The cornstarch will settle to the bottom of the container when you stop stirring.

Next add a package of frozen mixed veggies (I LOVE adding my FREE after doubled coupon veggies into meals!!!).
Keep stirring until all of your ingredients are heated thoroughly and are combined well.

I lightly sprayed the bottom of my casserole dish and poured my beef and veggie mixture inside.
Next, I loaded up a piping bag with an extra large decorating tip (I knew these would come in handy someday...) and I squeezed little dollops of mashed potatoes, coating the top. In truth, you could just spread a thin layer of potatoes on top with a spatula... but where is the fun in that? AND... I loved cutting perfect pieces between the potato dollops...

TIP: The warmer the mashed potatoes, the easier the squeezing and the better the presentation. I actually made a second Shepherd's Pie to freeze, and the time between piping the two batches allowed my potatoes to cool significantly. I also noticed that the first pie was far more attractively piped, so next time I will microwave my potatoes if necessary.

Bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes, or until thoroughly warmed!

And let me say, this is delicious!!!

Recipe Recap: serves 4
1 pound of undrained ground beef
4-5 medium/large potatoes
1 package of mixed vegetables
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon of cornstarch

This recipe *may* be the perfect answer to what to do with your leftover potatoes after Thanksgiving...

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