Wednesday, January 6, 2010

oh, the weather outside is frightful.

It's cold here. (Why thank you, Captain Obvious.) and it's steadily getting colder. There's a rumor that tomorrow we'll even be seeing some snow! I've been feeling giddy about this all day. ...What is better than a snow day?! Nothing. I LOVE being on lock-down with my favorite peeps... playing hookie in your pajamas all day?! Love it. And the best part is that here in the South, all it takes for a complete and total city-wide shut down is just a light dusting of snow and a whisper of ice.

Today, while at the grocery I couldn't help but laugh at the nearly-depleted bread shelves. I mean, why is it that people always feel like they need to stock up on bread when snow is coming? Are they planning on making a lot of sandwiches? I just don't know. But I will say with total certainty that a sandwich is NOT what I'll be indulging in on this most precious of days!
I'm making this:

In The Cottage Pie

(Named as such because a traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb. If you are using beef it's called Cottage Pie. Appropriate, no?)

{1 lb. ground sirloin}
{1 onion, diced.}
{1 cup diced carrots.}
{2 tablespoons flour.}
{1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.}
{1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning.}
{1/4 teaspoon cumin.}
{2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley.}
{1 cup beef broth.}
{2 tablespoons tomato paste.}
{1/2 teaspoon salt}
{1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper}
{8 to 10 red new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks.}
{1/2 cup sour cream.}
{2 cup whole milk.}
{2 cups instant biscuit mix.}
{2 tablespoons butter, melted.}
Preheat oven to 375.

For the meat filling: Place a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble in ground sirloin and saute 1 minute. Add onion and carrot, then continue to saute until meat is no longer pink and onion begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Mix in flour, cinnamon, Italian seasoning, cumin, salt, pepper and parsley and cook for a couple minutes, just so that flour has time to cook.
In a small bowl, combine beef broth and tomato paste. Mix together, then add to beef mixture. Lower heat and simmer mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens into a gravy.

For potatoes: Place diced potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and place over high heat. Allow to come to a boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Mash potatoes with hand mixer, add butter, 1/2 cup milk, sour cream and whip until fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For biscuit topping: Mix 2 cups of biscuit mix with 1 1/2 cups (or so) of milk. You want it to yield a slightly thinner mix than you'd usually use for biscuits.

Layer it all as such: Spray a 9x9 casserole dish, spread the potatoes in the bottom, next spread the meat mixture over the potatoes, next spread the biscuit mix over the meat mixture. drizzle the top with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Sorry about the lack of picture, but seeing as how I haven't actually made it yet... I'll have to get back to you on that.

Now, as for my mid-afternoon treat is concerned... I'm thinking this will suit!

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