Caron's Cookbook

Recipes from a home baker

September 9, 2018
Caron Ellis

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Sheppy Sheppy Pie Pie

Happy “I Love Food” Day!! Did you know today was the National “I Love
Food” Day? Actually, September is also National Chicken, Mushroom, Potato, and Rice month. In honor of this, and also to celebrate today as “I Love Food” Day, I have created the ultimate Shepherd’s pie in casserole form, family style. Not only does this shepherd’s pie include the four items listed previously, but it includes a large assortment of my favorite veggies to give a much needed protein boost as well as different flavors and textures that will make you shout ‘I LOVE FOOD’ before the day is over. Perhaps.

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I have to admit something. My family is sick of Shepherd’s pie. My sisters,
that is. My hubby and babies can’t get enough of it, and my parents seem to
still love it. Apparently, I have made it every single time we’ve had a family
get together for like, ever. So I’ve been trying to cool it with the shepherd’s
pies. Until today.

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This is actually the first time I have made my shepherd’s pie with rice in it.
And let me also admit that my version of shepherd’s pie is a loose
interpretation of the original. The traditional version usually has brown
gravy draped over the top. I happen to not really enjoy brown gravy all over
the top of mine. It mostly has to do with the flavor of the brown gravy
interrupting all of the other flavors I worked so hard on in the actual meal
itself. Trust me – you won’t miss it. The general idea of the shepherd’s pie is
there though – a hodgepodge of all leftover ingredients you have in your
fridge/pantry to feed the hungry bellies in your home. I don’t think I have
ever made any one Shepherd’s pie the same.

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My family also really enjoys a layer of cheddar cheese on top of the mashed
potatoes. They’re so American. For this recipe, I opted for shredded
parmesan cheese on top. It gets lovely and crispy on top of the mash and is
the perfect salty bite. I like to have all of the recipe ingredients ready and
mostly cooked by the time I get them in the pan so that it only takes about a
half hour in the oven to get everything warm and cozy together in the dish.
I am so happy with how this particular pie turned out and can’t wait for my
next adventure in Shepherd’s-Pie-making.

This beauty told me the mushrooms looked like bugs on top…She really knows how to compliment me. Screenshot_20180909-143755

She also cannot abide mushrooms.

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These are the ingredients I started out with.
To make this Shepherd’s Pie, you’ll start by toasting the rice. Add the butter and chopped onion to a pan and saute for a couple of minutes before adding the rinsed brown rice.

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Toast the rice in the pan for about 5 minutes before adding the water, reducing the heat, and simmering for 25-35 minutes.

While the rice cooks, work on your potatoes. I used the VERY LARGE jumbo baking potatoes and it only took 4 of them for this recipe. Dice them into decent sized chunks so they’ll cook evenly and quickly.

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After you get the potatoes on to boil, get the chicken put in a pot with water to boil.

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Then go ahead and work on the mushrooms. I just added them all to a bowl and put the seasonings and oil in altogether. Once it was stirred good enough, I just spread them out on a sheet pan with parchment paper and roasted them at 400° for about 10-12 minutes. OMG they were so yummy.
This is the mushrooms before:

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This is the mushrooms after:
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I wish I had made more. Oh well.

While the rice, potatoes, and mushrooms are cooking, go ahead and put all your veggies and your cream of mushroom soup in to a mixing bowl and add your seasonings as well.

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Once the chicken is about halfway cooked, remove from the pot and dice into cubes. The rice should be done by now too and you can add both the chicken and the rice to this same mixing bowl.

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Just in case you were wondering – Yes, I am aware how close this bowl is to falling off the side of this counter. It’s all good though. Nothing fell.

Once everything is mixed together fairly well, dump into a large casserole dish. Then put your mashed potatoes together and cover the top with them. Adorn the top of the mashed taters with your mushrooms and then add the shredded parm, if interested.

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Bake at 350° for about 30-40 minutes, then allow to cool for 10 before serving. See below for the ingredients list and full recipe instructions. Enjoy!!

How to make my Shepherd’s Pie:

Ingredients:

  • For the Rice:
    • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 2 cups water
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • For the Potatoes:
    • 4 large jumbo baking potatoes
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 stick softened butter
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 4 oz cream cheese
    • Reserved water from boiling pot
    • Shredded Parmesan Cheese, to top
  • For the Chicken:
    • 3 chicken breasts
    • water to cover
    • Salt to taste
  • For the Mushrooms:
    • Small package of pre-sliced baby bella mushrooms
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • For the Veggies:
    • 2 cans of Lima Beans
    • 2 cans of Sweet Peas
    • 1 can French style Green Beans
    • 1 can Italian style Green Beans
    • 1 can regular cut Green Beans
    • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  1. Begin by cooking the rice. Measure out 1 cup of brown rice and rinse thoroughly in a sieve. Set aside and allow to drain. Add 3 Tbsp of butter to a medium skillet. Chop half an onion and add to the butter. Saute the onions for a minute or two until softened. Add the rice and toast for approximately 5 minutes until bits of color begin to show on the rice. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Then cover with a lid, reduce the temperature to low, and allow to cook for 25-35 minutes.
  2. While the rice is cooking, prepare a large boiling pot by filling halfway with water and set on the stove. Peel 4 LARGE jumbo baking potatoes and dice, then add to the water. Add your desired amount of salt and boil until fork tender.
  3. While the rice and potatoes are cooking, preheat your oven to 400° and add the mushrooms to a bowl. Add olive oil, salt, and other spices and mix thoroughly. Spread out on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. When your oven is ready, put the mushrooms in and roast for about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Boil 2 chicken breasts until cooked through. Allow to cool and then dice into cubes, set aside.
  5. Open all the vegetable cans and drain. Put them in a bowl and add your cream of mushroom soup. Stir thoroughly. Once the chicken and rice have cooked through, add them to the bowl and mix.
  6. Once the potatoes are fork tender, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and add to a mixing bowl. Add your butter, sour cream, and cream cheese. Mash until desired consistency. Add any additional salt and pepper to your taste. Add water from boiling pot as needed to loosen up the mixture.
  7. Once all the elements are prepared, pick out your favorite casserole dish to add the ingredients to.
  8. Begin by scooping the rice/chicken/veggie mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish. Top it off by adding the mashed potatoes on top of that. Put the mushrooms on top of the potatoes and sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste.
  9. Lower the oven temperature to 350° and put your casserole on the middle shelf. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cheese has toasted and the pie is bubbling on the sides.
  10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve. Enjoy!

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