Last month as Mary and I were leaving work, I was lamenting on my lack of ideas for the pound of ground meat in my fridge. I knew I needed to use it up that day, but I was stuck on what to do with it. I had potatoes, and the typical veggies like carrots and celery… but I didn’t want to have a typical boring meal. One of her suggestions was Shepherd’s Pie, which I love, but I wanted something with a little kick to it.
And that’s when my mind started formulating what I think is a pretty tasty dish.
I remembered the jar of “Tamed Jalapeños” that I’d just devoured a week earlier. Of course! Those would make a lovely addition to my otherwise ho-hum dish! And cheese…. another one of my favorite ingredients. I stopped off at Sprouts for another jar of Jalapeños and by the time I was home, I knew just what to do. By the way, since last month, I’ve made it two more times. Kenny loves it. My son Chris, who is home from college loves it too =0) Plus, it’s gluten free – yay to that!
I call this Jalapeño Cottage Pie. Why not Shepherd? Easy… Shepherd’s Pie is made with a lamb mince, and Cottage Pie is made with beef mince, or ground beef.
*Note: These are not your ordinary hot jalapeño peppers! They’re tamed! Here’s what the folks at Jeff’s Naturals say about them: “Created exclusively for us by horticulturists at Texas A&M University by combining traditional jalapeño peppers with bell peppers to create a proprietary ‘harmless’ jalapeño.”
Jalapeño Cottage Pie
3 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
3 celery ribs
1 small onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 pound ground beef
1 package Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning (see photo)
1 tin (6oz) tomato paste
½ cup drinking water
1 Tablespoon butter
½ cup milk
1-1½ cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
½-¾ jar of Jeff’s Naturals Tamed Jalapeños (see photo)
Preheat oven to 450°.
Boil water on stove and add potato slices. Boil these till they’re ready to mash, about 15+ minutes.
Dice/chop the carrots, celery, and onion. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add these three ingredients. Sauté over medium to medium high heat till somewhat tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Add ground beef and cook till meat is browned, stirring often. Sprinkle arrowroot powder over the mixture and stir well till blended. Add ½ package of Taco Seasoning, tomato paste, and water. Bring to a boil, simmer for another minute, and then taste. If you want more flavor, keep adding more seasoning. Cook over low till all is incorporated. Turn off the heat under the pan.
Drain the water from the pot of potatoes. Mash well, add butter and milk, mash again. With a rubber spatula, stir in cheese, ½ cup at a time until it reaches the desired flavor.
Pour the ground beef mixture into a 13×9 baking dish. Top with a layer of jalapeños. Scoop out small amounts of potatoes over the top. Carefully smooth out until the entire surface is covered. Using a fork, make a line of “waves” (see photo). Continue until all of the potatoes have texture. (This will give you extra crispy tops – yum!) Bake 20 minutes and check. Keep baking until the top looks golden (see photo).
Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
And, as always, a little something to make you giggle. Looks like something my cousin Cyndie needs!