Shepherd's Pie

I first started making this about 4 months ago and it quickly became a regular! This is easily my stepson's favorite meal that I cook! The great thing about it is I can make it earlier in the morning and stick it in the fridge for later, or in this case, double it and freeze one for next week (finals are looming, I will not be cooking!)

So here is what you need, keep in mind I doubled this, so if you are only making one - cut it in half:

Enough mashed potatoes to cover (for me this means two full boxes of the betty crocker instant - one box per casserole), 3 cups beef stock, 2 smallish onions, minced garlic, thyme, pepper, 3-4 celery stalks, 2.5 pounds beef, 2 cans corn, 2 cans carrots (or peas and carrots, whatever you have), and flour.

To get started, go ahead and put the beef in a huge pan that is going to be able to fit all of these ingredients:
While the beef is browning, dice up your onion and celery, or make them mushy like me, and open and drain your canned veggies:
When the beef done browning, drain it and then add your veggies:
Mix it up well and sprinkle on your spices, I use equal amounts of pepper and thyme, and then throw in a scoop of garlic while I'm at it - just eyeball it, it's not a science! (btw: Do Not Use Salt.)

Next add flour:
I used 6 TBS, mix it up and then pour in the 3 cups of beef broth:
Then you want to let it simmer on high, stirring and letting it thicken up. At some point I was getting impatient and threw in about a TBS or so of cornstarch to help speed up the process:
And that did the trick! Once it's thick enough for you (you definitely don't want it to be too soupy, but remember it's going to bake too so it doesn't have to be perfect!) you just dump it into your prepared casserole dishes. I lined the one going into the freezer with enough tinfoil to cover it up after it was done, and sprayed both of them with my friend Pam:
Add equal parts of the meat mixture into each dish:
And now make your mashed potatoes, or you could have made them before, but I think they are easier to spread when they are hot, so I turn the water on while the meat is finishing up, and then mix it up at this stage. Once you've mixed up your instant, or if you are really handy, made your own from scratch, put spoonful's on top of each casserole:
 And then use a spoon to smooth it out:
You could get fancy here, but I don't, the boys really wouldn't appreciate it!!

Here is the one going in the freezer:
Just flip the tinfoil over to cover and pop it in the freezer:
Mine was in the freezer for about 5 hours, and then I took it out of the freezer and out of it's dish, wrapped it with some more tinfoil and threw it back in to free up my dish.

When you are ready to cook, just preheat the oven to 350 and sprinkle with cheese:
And let it cook for around 35-45 minutes.

Here is the finished product:
And my stepson's first out of 4 (yes, 4!) servings:
I don't know where he puts it all!!

If I remember I'll try and post a picture when I bake the one out of the freezer, I'm not sure if I'll thaw it first or just throw it in frozen, if anyone has any opinions on that be sure to let me know!

Be sure to check out Freezer Food Friday, Food on Fridays, and Foodie Friday, you will be glad you did!!

Let me know if you try this!

Love and Luck to you,

The Packet Queen

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