Dinner

Traeger Grill Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie

Alright, I knowwww this isn’t the healthiest recipe… However, it CAN be customized or swapped with healthy alternatives.

I’m a couple years into my 30’s and realizing a few things I should have already mastered. Example, cooking for large groups! We all know I tend to eat on the healthier side so it’s assumed I can’t cook and/or my meals will understandably be boring and bland. I can make healthier meals all day but the thing about cooking for groups, is keeping it less about me and more about what the others will enjoy.

So far, the 30’s club has had it’s ups and downs. Globally, we’re being restricted and forced to slow down due to Covid. This brought waves of nostalgia for me. I’ve had the time to reflect back on things I miss and ‘what was’. My childhood. I miss when things were simple and life had a sense of ‘home’ and a closeness that surrounded us. I know we’re all feeling very disconnected but some are adapting and becoming comfortable with this new form of bonding from afar, thanks to smart phones, apps, FaceTime etc. This is something I can’t relate to. It’s shown me how much we’ve changed as a society staying so ‘plugged in’ for no beneficial reason.

I miss the holidays packed with a house full of good company, no phones and lots of laughter. No distractions. I could go on and on about technology robbing us from these moments but I’ll get to the point 🙂

I need a signature dish. Your good ol’ crowd pleasing dish, without thinking of calories, macros, etc. I need a, “this recipe runs in the family”, “your grandma and her grandma aways made this”, “this is my most popular and asked for”…dish.

Which brings me to, drum roll pleaseee!…. SHEPHERD’S PIE! I knew this would be prepared on the grill so I found a basic recipe on traegar.com, that I linked below.

https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/shepherds-pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Pound Ground Lamb or Ground Beef, chilled
  • 1 Whole onion, diced
  • 1 Large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Cup beef broth
  • 2 Teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • To Taste salt and pepper
  • 1 Cup frozen peas
  • 4 Cup Potatoes, mashed
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and brown. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat.
  2. Add your onion, carrot, and garlic mixture into the beef and saute.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 before you add your broth. Once broth is added stir continuously until your mixture thickens.
  4. Now add the thyme and tomato paste and keep cooking at a good simmer to make sure all the ingredients are well blended. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Add the frozen peas(both times I prepared this, I added with the vegetables in the beginning so you can decide which step is best for you. I’m not sure if makes a flavor difference but the color is more vibrant if you add peas here)
  6. Slowly pour meat mixture into a casserole dish. Top with your mashed potatoes and use a spatula to spread evenly.
  7. Add your parmesan or other cheeses of choice.
  8. When ready to place in the Traeger, bake the for 35-45 minutes, or until the topping is golden.
  9. When removing, sprinkle parsley over topped allow to cook before serving.
Note: the best part of recipes is being flexible with adjustments and making them your own. This particular dish was made two ways and I learned something new to enhance or tweak each time.

PS. I’m clueless when it comes to picking out good meat. I’m basic and keep it easy with ground turkey or chicken breast. The first batch, I overlooked the package I purchased until it was too late to realize it was LEAN beef. So, so lean. LOL. I did my best to stick to the directions exactly as is, but with the 4 cups of mashed potatoes it asked for, I wasn’t sure if this meant plain or jazzing them up as you normally would with your mashed potatoes.

Needless to say the first go round was extremely bland due to the wrong meat and boring potatoes. The second time we went a little cheese crazy and added sharp cheddar to the Parmesan topping. Adjustments include a fattier meat, extra tomato paste for a saucier filling, and your good ol’ microwave Bob Evans original potatoes. You’re still welcome to make your own if you have time.

Enjoy!

Does your family have a passed down recipe? Do you have a signature dish? Don’t forget to comment below! I’d love to hear your custom Shepherds Pie adjustments as well as other dishes you suggest I prepare!

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