Teaching Cooking

I have taught basic cooking to my seven children and to classes of elementary children. When my youngest daughter wanted to learn, I found that taking the recipes and making them into a step-by-step format made it easier for her, so here is a blog to hopefully make cooking easier for the beginner.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Easy Shepherds Pie

This is one of those easy meals that can be made with a lot of variety and little fuss.

Easy Shepherds Pie

Choose what kind of meat you want to use.  If it is uncooked, you will need cook it until almost done,  With chicken, you will want to cut into smaller pieces and if it is ground beef, just chop it up as you brown it. If you use stew meat, cook it until it is almost done.  Season your meat with salt and pepper.  You can even used canned meat, including ham.

Next, add vegetables.  If you are browning or cooking meat, you can add celery or onions with the meat when it is almost done.  Add either canned or frozen vegetables after they are mostly cooked and heat through.  You can also add different spices such as: basil, garlic, parsley, season all, cumin, sage or any others that you want to try.  Add a can of cream of mushroom soup or make a white gravy using the following recipe:

       White Gravy
        1/4 cup flour
        1 Tablespoon Butter
        1 cup milk
       In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Sprinkle the flour over the top and quickly stir with a fork or a whisk. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, until it is well blended.  Heat until bubbly.  Add a little more milk or water if it is too thick.

After you have stirred the meat, vegetables and sauce together, put in the bottom of a pan that can go in the oven.

You can make the topping by either putting refrigerated crescent rolls, biscuits or make your homemade biscuits.

        Homemade Biscuits
         1/3 cup shortening or butter, softened
         2 cups flour
         1 Tablespoon baking powder
         1 teaspoon salt
         1 Tablespoon sugar
         About 3/4 cup cold milk

         Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl.  Add the shortening or butter and mix it with a fork or knife, until it is crumbly.  Slowly add most of the milk and mix until it is no longer sticky.  Either add more milk or more flour, a little at a time.  You want it soft, but not sticking to your fingers.  Knead it on a lightly floured surface for a minute or two.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Roll out the biscuit dough until it is the shape of the pan you are using.  Don't have it more than 1/2 inch thick or it will not cook when the top is done.  Put on top of the hot meat and vegetable mixture.  Bake in a 350 oven for 12-15 minutes (Until the top is golden).

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