Healthy comfort food?
I still remember one night (many years ago) that I served this for dinner. I didn’t think for a minute that I was serving comfort. I just thought I was serving dinner. But when we finished dinner, my husband, who had apparently had a somewhat stressful day, said “That was such a comforting meal”.
Hmm. Cool. You can never have too many comfort foods!
I love that this is a comforting, yet healthy dish. I also love that I can make it even if I haven’t been to the grocery store in a while. Every ingredient is something I can keep in the freezer or pantry for just such an occasion.
I call it an Emergency Meal. I keep a whole list of them and I make sure I have ingredients for at least a few different ones at all times. (I don’t really want to confess how often I skip going to the grocery store when I should.)
If you look to the right of this page you’ll see a book by the same name. It’s called Emergency Meals, and it’s full of whole-meal directions for many family-friendly meals, arranged according to the various meal-time situations you find yourself in. It’s a handy resource to have at hand when you need a specific type of meal. You can check it out here.
Okay, getting back to the pie…
I’ll chat while you get your potatoes peeled, chopped, and boiling.
And I’ll chat some more while you brown your ground beef, adding salt & pepper and onion if you prefer.
(Back to my chatting…)
It’s pretty simple and it freezes really well. And it’s pretty cheap to make.
And… you can make it gluten free by using corn starch instead of flour.
No “fresh” ingredients required
Gluten free option
I feel like I should be getting a commission from the Cottage Pie company.
Ahem, okay, enough of that. Your ground beef is done. Time to add some veggies and broth. Let that simmer until the veggies are getting tender.
You should have very little liquid at this point.
Sprinkle flour over the mixture and cook (while stirring) for 3-5 minutes, just to cook the flour.
Add the rest of the broth and heat until it thickens.
If using corn starch, mix it with cold water before adding to the hot meat mixture. That will keep it from getting lumpy. Bring it to a simmer, then turn it off.
This is where I should show you a picture of assembling your pie.
First the beef & veggies, then the corn (no need to cook the frozen corn), then your amazing mashed potatoes.
If only I had taken a picture of those steps.
You’ll have to use your imagination.
I have faith in you!
If you want to freeze this meal, use a disposable pan and freeze before baking.
You can either thaw completely and bake for about 25 minutes or, you can put it right in the oven frozen (incase I’m not the only one who sometimes needs to do that!) and bake it for about an hour. It comes out perfect either way.
And another handy little tip. The square pans fit inside a gallon size freezer bag. How cool is that!
Don’t forget to label it!
- 1 LB ground beef
- 1-2 cups beef broth (or water and bouillon)
- 2 cups (give or take) frozen peas/carrot mixture
- 3-4 TBSP flour (or 1 TBSP corn starch for gluten-free)
- 3-4 medium potatoes
- 2 cups frozen corn, optional
- 4 TBSP butter
- ½ cup milk
- Dinner rolls
- Peel potatoes and place in a large saucepan.
- Cover with cool water, add 1 tsp salt.
- Simmer until very tender.
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add 1 cup of beef broth and veggies, simmer until veggies are cooked, about 10 minutes.
- When sauce has reduced some, add flour to the mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes until it thickens
- Add as much broth as you need to get a gravy-like consistency.
- *To make this recipe gluten free: Instead of adding flour, add 1 TBSP of corn starch mixed with ½ cup cold water. Bring to a simmer. Add additional broth if needed to make a thick gravy.
- Pour into a casserole dish.
- Drain potatoes, return to pan.
- Add butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste.
- Mash or beat with electric mixer.
- If it’s too thick, add more milk.
- You can add a layer of frozen corn here if desired.
- Spoon potatoes on top of meat mixture.
- Bake on 375° for about 20 minutes.
- Serve with warm dinner rolls.
For more delicious main dish recipes, follow my Main Dishes Pinterest board:
Follow Beth Cranford/Eat Better Spend Less’s board Main Dishes on Pinterest.