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If you've got a recipe that's giving you trouble, or you need ideas about menu planning for parties, or info on how to utilize a certain ingredient, leave me a comment or shoot me an email at email@example.com. I am Prudence Pennywise, your humble servant. I've had a reader request for updated recipes ideas using ground beef. Ground beef can be an economical (shop sales!) and with today's lean cuts, a healthful way of feeding a family. And it goes way beyond hamburgers. (But I love those, too.) I've toyed around with the classic, ever-popular Shepherd's Pie to include some summery vegetables and flavors, like corn, zucchini, and barbecue sauce. It's tough to resist the mashed potato and melted cheddar topping. This is a great make ahead Sunday late lunch, or a fun weeknight dinner; it's a stick to your ribs, homey and comfortable, man pleasin' kind of casserole. I baked mine in individual portions, just for fun, and also to have a few easy lunches to pop into the freezer.
Money Saving Tips: Always stock up on lean ground beef on sale, to be sure you're getting a good deal. You can use leftover corn from the cob here, or frozen or canned kernels. The zucchini here is optional, so if you can grab some from your garden, toss it in.
Cowboy Shepherd's Pie with Summer Vegetables and Cheddar Potatoes
Estimated Cost: $7.50 for 6 hearty servings
Notes: For a vegetarian version, replace the meat with two (15 ounce) cans of drained black beans.
1 and 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 medium zucchini, chopped (optional)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen, thawed
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
chopped cilantro or scallions, for garnish
Place potatoes in a large pot of coled water over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Cook potatoes for about 13 minutes, or until tender. Drain potatoes and mash with milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Set aside briefly. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8 by 8 inch casserole. In a large saucepan, cook meat with zucchini, onions and garlic, breaking up with back of spoon, until meat is just cooked. Drain if necessary. Stir in barbecue sauce, mustard and brown sugar. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Scatter corn evenly on top. Spread potatoes carefully over corn and sprinkle with cheese. (You can refrigerate this for up to 24 hours and bake it later, if desired.) Bake at 400 degrees, just until filling is bubbly and cheddar is nicely melted, about 25 minutes.
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