It's an exciting week at the Hughes/Johnson household. We have a contractor staying with us. Not just any contractor though, it's Betsy's husband, Steve. Remember him?
Steve is working on a hole in our roof and gutting our master bath so it's ready for me to tile. Basically, we are getting down to the nitty-gritty bare bones of that bathroom, so we can rebuild it. It's about time too.....it's only been 40 years :)
Since we are undertaking a pretty big renovation here- I've added a tab called "Home Adventures". It will chronicle the ins and outs of this and many more DIY home improvements, just in case you're interested, or need some tips from someone that's experienced them first hand. This house has been a labor of love for me over the years, that's for sure! As a little preview, here was our wretched master bath on Sunday before demo....
And after just one day- look how far Steve has come!
The bare bones of a 40 yr old bathroom. I couldn't believe how great it looked behind there! I mean, that's a long time for water to be contained to a shower....
Okay, enough of the reno. If you want to read more, you can click on the link up top!
Because Steve is working so hard for us, I told him to tell me his favorite meals so that I could make them for dinner this week. On the list: cheeseburgers, pasta, shepherd's pie, and stews. Gotta love men and their meat and carbs. I figured that Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon is a little to hearty for summer, but the rest were definitely doable. It just so happens that I make a mean shepherd's pie too! My recipe was featured in our family's cookbook...so basically, I'm famous. Or not at all :)
I learned this recipe from my good friend Tanya, who is from England. She never really followed a recipe and I was always in awe of how she could do that. Turns out, when you make this enough, you don't need a recipe! I just followed my gut with this one, but I tried to measure as I went along. Hopefully it comes close enough for you to duplicate at home....
To start, brown a package of ground beef in a large skillet. Always try to buy free range beef!
Once the meat has browned in a little olive oil, remove it from the pan. Leave about 3 tbs of fat in the pan to cook your veggies. While the meat is cooking, I cut up 2 cloves of garlic, a large onion, a couple of carrots, and a pound of mushrooms.
Next, cook the veggies in the pan over medium heat, adding in some oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
Once they are soft, add in your cooked beef, along with a little flour.
Next, I add in a little of my secret ingredient: A1 Bold and Spicy!
It is one of my favorite condiments, and it gives the meat a little zing that is so good!
Now, add in your worchestershire sauce and beef broth and let the mixture come to a bubble.
While the beef is simmering, you can cook your potatoes. I usually use about 5 or 6, depending on the size. Peel the potatoes and dice them into inch cubes, then put them in a pot of cold water and bring them to a boil for 10 minutes. Once you drain them, add in melted butter and warm milk. Season them with salt and pepper and mash them to your desired consistancy.
Once the liquid has reduced by half, transfer your beef mixture to a casserole dish...
Then top with your mashed potatoes....
Grate some white or yellow sharp cheddar on top (I used extra sharp white) and bake the dish for about 30 minutes. Top with green onions and you are ready to serve!
It goes great with some garlic bread. Especially garlic and parsley butter naan for dipping!
This is comfort food at it's finest! The 3 of us polished of all but one little corner of the casserole dish. Trust me, it's a crowd pleaser!
1 package free range ground beef
1 large onion
1 lb button mushrooms
1.5 cups beef broth
2 tbs A1 Sauce
1 tbs worchestershire
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbs flour
5-6 russet potatoes
1/2 cup warmed milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1-2 cups freshly grated cheddar
Scallions for topping (optional)
Garlic bread for dipping (also optional- but highly recommended!)
Brown beef in the olive oil in a large skillet. Remove from pan and add in vegetables, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (optional). Allow veggies to soften for about 5 minutes, then add in the beef. Add in flour and cook for another minute, then add in worchestershire, A1, and beef broth. Bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your mashed potatoes. Peel and dice your potatoes and add them to a large pot filled with cold water. Bring the water to a boil for about 15 minutes or until tender and drain potatoes. Add them back into your pot and add in butter and milk. Mash until you have your desired consistancy. Season with salt and pepper.
In a 9x13 casserole dish, pour in your beef mixture, then top with the mashed potatoes and a layer of cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling on the sides. Top with scallions and serve with crusty garlic bread for dipping.