Thursday, September 12, 2013

Buffalo Shepherds Pie

A couple years ago when we were living up in the ghetto, I heard about a pub that was in a local hotel. Being the anglophile that I am, I was eager to check it out. It's actually an Irish pub, not an English pub, but close enough.

DH and I along with our little DD were slightly out of our element. Everyone around us was enjoying a pint and we ordered soda. The menu was full of unfamiliar fare so we had to ask the waiter for recommendations. The waiter recommended something called Buffalo Shepherds Pie. It was love at first bite.

We gobbled it up and raved about it to our family. We ate there a few more times until that glorious day when we moved out of the ghetto. The menu had a good description of the dish so DH and I set about to replicate it at home.

We've made it a few times and we learn something new with each attempt. We've got it down to just how we like it. I made it yesterday and divided the goods into three dishes so that in a couple months when we're home with our new little squish, we will have some delicious dinners waiting in the freezer.

Now this recipe calls for beer. We don't drink it but we have no problem cooking with it. The restaurant uses Tetley's Draught, but we couldn't find that locally. I called up a friend who knows beer and asked what a comparable beer would be, he recommended Newcastle, which I found at the state liquor store. (I enjoyed some strange looks at the liquor store, buying beer with an 8 month pregnant belly. Good times.) In the past we have used Guinness extra stout beer, which had a stronger flavor than the Newcastle.

Buffalo Shepherds Pie

  • 1 lb. andouille sausage, cooked and sliced
  • 1 lb. ground bison, cooked and salted & peppered**
  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1/2 lb. frozen corn
  • 24 oz. Newcastle Brown Ale
  • 1 can cr. of mushroom soup
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 lb. Irish cheddar cheese (Kerrygold Dubliner Irish Cheese, found in most grocery store gourmet cheese islands)
  • 14-16 medium Idaho russet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 TBSP. sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Kosher salt to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add peeled and cubed potatoes and cook until tender.

In a large Saute pan, saute onion in a little olive oil until translucent. Add corn and saute. Set aside.

Cook beef and bison, drain fat, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook andouille. Slice lengthwise and then into small (half circle) slices.
In a large pan, combine all meats and beer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

While the meat is simmering, make mashed potatoes. In a kitchenaid, mix potatoes, milk, sour cream and butter until smooth. Season with kosher salt.

When meat is done simmering, drain the beer. Combine meat, corn, onion, cream of mushroom soup, and dried thyme.

Transfer to two 8x8 (or equivalent) pans. Top with a thick layer of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until bubbling hot.

**ground bison can be expensive. I've never found it for less than $10/lb. But we've learned that the important flavors come from the andouille sausage and the Irish cheddar, so most of the time we just use 2 lbs. of ground beef instead using the bison.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Only 15 months....

Wow, 15 months since my last post. And so much has changed. A new home, DH has a new position at work (and only ONE job!!!!) and most significantly, we've got another little blessing on the way. And it's a BOY!!!!!! We're so thrilled.

I'm sure no one reads this blog anymore so this will be more for me. But I have two major goals that I'm currently working on. 1.) find freezer meal recipes that my family will actually like. Most recipes I find don't sound very appealing to our picky, picky eaters. Ground beef is something my family just does not eat. And with baby #3 on the way, I am determined to not get into the terrible habit of eating out that we did when our last baby was born. She is now 15 months old and we still eat out way too much. It's unhealthy and expensive. Which leads me into goal 2.) Get in control of our finances. With DH's new position, we're finally in a situation where we can save up for a house. We've never been good savers. But I am determined to get into a house. I am also determined to be out of debt before we get into a house. Aside from a car, perhaps. But we've still got hospital bills from our last baby and we're about to have more. I don't want that looming over our heads if we've got a mortgage to pay.

As for freezer meals, I was all set to start doubling recipes, saving 1/2 for a freezer meal and having the other half for dinner. Then what happens? Our second fridge died. So we've got to replace that so we'll have freezer space. Also, I like to shop once every two weeks. And since we are milk lovers, I can't fit all the milk we need in one fridge, plus all the yogurt, string cheese, cottage cheese, etc that our littlest one goes through.

As for budgeting, I am currently trying to find an envelope system that I like. Paper envelopes bother me, I've already tried them. I'm looking for a cloth/zippered envelope system. I've seen some on etsy but I can't bring myself to buy something that I know I could make. So hopefully my next post will be my new envelope system.