Archive for November, 2008

30 Minute (Venison) Shepherd’s Pie

November 16, 2008

I thought when I married a boy from Kansas that I had dodged the whole hunting obsession thing. But I should have known that my Texan father would suck him in to the cult. So, before we had even used up all the venison in our small freezer from last year, he had brought home another whole deer worth of venison meat! Time to get to using that stuff up!

Shepherd’s Pie is a perfect way to incorporate ground venison, but you could easily use the more typical beef or lamb too. This is a Rachael Ray recipe but don’t hold that against it. 🙂 It was very satisfying on a cool night. And the best part is, I now have a little bit more space in my freezer.

Sorry about the picture...its not very photogenic and I forgot to take one before we ate.

Sorry about the picture...it's not very photogenic and I forgot to take one before we ate.

30-Minute (Venison) Shepherd’s Pie

*  2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
* 2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese
* 1 large egg yolk
* 1/2 cup cream, for a lighter version substitute vegetable or chicken broth
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
* 1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
* 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup beef stock or broth
* 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it
* 1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls
* 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.

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Well, hello there!!!

November 16, 2008

So it’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve posted a blog update. A really really long time. The blog got put on the back burner because I started a new full-time Marketing and Advertising job that keeps me very busy. But I’m back! And I plan on trying to update on a more regular basis again. I missed food blogging!

When I was walking through the grocery store this week I saw the fresh cranberries had been put out. Yay!! I LOVE fresh cranberries! They are so tart and also have a lot of health benefits. They’re packed full of antioxidants. I had planned to bake White Chocolate Cranberry Scones with them but then I decided to find a recipe that was more of a dessert than a breakfast. I ended up coming across a recipe for White Chocolate Cranberry Bars on Katie’s blog, Good Things Catered. Thanks, Katie, for another great recipe!

The pictures I took aren’t great (I’ve got to get back in the food photography swing of things) but OH BOY are they good! The tart cranberries pair so well with the white chocolate. I even decided to drizzle melted white chocolate on top but this was really not a necessary step. They were just perfect without the extra chocolate/calories.

Cranberry White Chocolate Bars
Source: Good Things Catered

Ingredients
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 1/2 orange (I omitted)
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I omitted)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. dried or fresh cranberries
1/2 c. white chocolate chips

Directions:
-Preheat to 350 degrees and line an 11 x 7 pan with foil, coating with cooking spray.
-In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, zest, nutmeg and set aside.
-In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on high until soft and light in color, about 3 minutes.
-Turn mixer to low and beat in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla until thoroughly combined.
-Slowly incorporate flour mixture.
-Remove from stand mixer and stir in cranberries and white chocolate.
-Spread batter in pan (it’s thick so use a spatula and be sure to remove all air bubbles).
-Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
-Cool on rack for 1 hours.
-Remove from pan and cut into bars.