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Easy Shepherd's Pie

One of the key things I have learnt over the last few months to save time in the kitchen is Cook Once, Eat Twice (or many times). This means cooking a protein, vegetable or carbohydrate one night and using the leftovers for another dinner. This not only reduces the amount of work you need to do for dinner prep but also keeps your family happy with a little variety at the dinner table.

I had leftover mashed potatoes from the previous night when I made Pork Chops with Goat Cheese Gravy. It has been a while since I have made shepherd's pie so I decided to make it for dinner that night.

This meal had my husband jumping for joy. The cheesy mashed potatoes and vegetables over ground beef in a saucy gravy makes a delicious meal that is sure to make your family happy. The best part was that we even managed to have some leftovers (after my husband had second and third helpings) for lunch the next day.

5 cups leftover mashed potatoes
3 cups frozen vegetable mix (peas, carrots, corn, etc)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb lean or extra lean ground beef
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ketchup
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add in frozen vegetables and blanch the vegetables for a few minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large pan over medium-high heat, add oil.

4. Add onions and cook until it is translucent.

5. Mix in the ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. Stir in the flour and cook until the flour is mixed in.

6. Add in ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce is thick.

7. Spread the ground beef mixture in an even layer on the bottom of a 3 quart casserole dish. Then spread on a layer of vegetable mix. Finally, spread mashed potatoes and sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top.

8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Source: Slightly adapted from Allrecipes

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