Fall is here. I know this because when I walk outside, I can smell it. I also know this because our house is still without heat and there is a distinct chill inside. We have always kept our living spaces cold because we're cheap and usually poor, but this time is different because we don't even have the option of heat available to us.
On a different note, someday it's my dream to have a little bit of property where I can raise some sheep. They are so multi-purpose! They are really cute, their wool is warm and soft, they taste good, and I think you can make really good cheese out of their milk. Naturally, the people who raise and "herd" the sheep must be lovely people, too, right? Of course, because they are also the bless-ed folk behind one of the coziest meals on the menu.
Shepherd's Pie, from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. (With a corny twist)
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. flour
10 oz. (or your preference) frozen veggies. (We used frozen sweet corn and fresh mushrooms)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cups mashed potatoes (this was 3 russet potatoes for us, boiled and smashed with butter)
1. Preheat oven to 425. Cook meat for 4-5 mins, add onion and garlic and cook until soft and onions are transparent, 4-5 mins.
2. Add thyme, ketchup and flour; stir until combined. Add about 1/2 c. water and vegetables, cook until warm and the whole liquid has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place mixture in baking dish. Spread potatoes evenly over mixture. Bake for 10-15 mins, adding cheese on top if you'd like. We only had parmesan cheese so I just sprinkled a little over the top. Serve hot with another steamed and buttered veg, like broccoli or green beans.
*What was our corny twist? I sliced up ready-made polenta and made a bottom crust for our pie, spooning the meat mixture over the top. It was delicious.