Quick Casserole: ‘Music to Your Ears’

Ed Sheeran is back from a one-year hiatus. Oh, how his fans missed him, me included! A month from today his new album Divide comes out and Ed recently released two singles from it, which immediately shot up to top spots on the Billboard Music Chart.

Ed Sheeran performing at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario – June 2015. (Image: “SoS“)
Ed Sheeran performing at Rock in Rio concert in Las Vegas – May 2015. (Image: “SoS“)

While this blog post isn’t entirely about Ed, it is inspired by his love of British pubs and the ‘grub’ they serve.

So, I’m cooking to the beat of his new tunes while preparing Cottage Pie (aka Shepherd’s Pie made with ground beef). I’m sure this traditional British fare would receive Ed’s seal of approval!

Assembling the components. (Image: “SoS“)

Using ‘planned-over’ mashed potatoes saves considerable time. I avoid calling them leftovers because I purposely made extra potatoes with our roast chicken the other day, knowing I’d be using them for this recipe.

1 lb extra-lean ground beef or sirloin
1 cup chopped cooking onions
3 cloves minced garlic
1 ½ tsp paprika
¾ tsp dried thyme
1 cup frozen peas-and-carrots
1 cup frozen corn
¾ cup beef broth
4 Tbsp. chili sauce (or ketchup)
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½  tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mashed potatoes (or Sweet potatoes) to cover top of casserole

Preparation Steps

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF
  • Peel the garlic cloves by crushing them lightly with the flat of a knife and the heel of your hand and let sit for 10 minutes
  • Scramble fry the beef and onions in a skillet until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Using a garlic press, mince the cloves and add to the meat mixture, sautéing for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Stir in paprika and thyme and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the peas, carrots and corn and incorporate well.
  • In a medium sized jar or container with lid, mix together the broth and flour by shaking vigorously to incorporate the flour completely. Then stir in the chili and Worcestershire sauces and add to the meat mixture. Simmer over low heat for 5-7 minutes until thickened and add in the salt and pepper.
  • Assemble the casserole by spooning the meat mixture over the bottom of a 9×13 casserole pan (use an 8×8 pan if you prefer thicker layers) and top with the mashed potatoes. Bake at 375ºF for 25 minutes, until bubbly around edges and completely heated through.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Cottage pie ready for the oven. (Image: “SoS“)

In review
This dish is always a favourite at my house. Perhaps it’s his British ancestry, but my husband always has seconds or even thirds. It’s a quick weekday meal and a real time-saver using ‘planned-over’ mashed potatoes.

Ready to eat. (Image: “SoS“)

On the “Sugar Scale” [my unofficial recipe rating system], this recipe scored a 9 out of 10. It’s a family favourite and one I will continue to make for years to come.

The views expressed in this post are purely my own. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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