Monday, January 11, 2010

Dinner Tonight: Shepherd's Pie

This is not the first time I've made Shepherd's pie, but it is the first time I've tried Alton Brown's version. I made some minor changes, substituting ground beef for the lamb and green beans for the peas. I also omitted the carrot and used dried rosemary instead of fresh. Other than that I followed the recipe pretty closely.
My grandmother is in town and I was scheduled to spend some time with her this evening, so I decided to make this dinner over at my mom's house. I'm not sure if the change in setting was the cause or not, but for some reason it took a really long time for me to make this recipe. If it hadn't been for that, I would say that this was definitely one of the most successful meals I have made recently. The flavor was really good, but a cost-benefit analysis would suggest it wasn't worth spending over an hour and a half cooking it!
I served to my husband, grandmother and my mother and they all seemed to like it. Of course, they are also all biased towards being nice to me but I think they genuinely enjoyed the dish. If I could figure out how to cut out a lot of the prep time, or even make ahead and freeze, this would be a keeper. It was just the way Shepherd's pie is supposed to be - warm, savory and comforting. I don't feel like it was too heavy, though it was truly a meat and potatoes meal. I liked the corn and green beans being in the dish, it made it easier than having to remember to cook them on the side!
I served with Grands biscuits, which my mother was skeptical of but they were very tasty! I usually buy the reduced-fat wheat variety, but tonight we had the regular buttermilk kind and they were satisfying and made a good compliment to the main dish.


Estimated cost of meal:

Potatoes: $.75
Half & half: $.20
Butter: $.25
Egg: $.12
Onion: $.15
Garlic: $.10
Ground beef: $2
Chicken broth: $.50
Corn: $.35
Green beans: $.35
Remaining small ingredients: $.50 (probably less but just to be safe)

Total: $5.27 (for a satisfying meal for 4 people, plus leftovers!)

Former life total: Dinner @ Cheesecake Factory: $70 (for four)

Leaner Life Savings: $64.73 or 92%!!!

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