Main dish – Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Here’s what I love about church cookbooks: these are time-tested, family-friendly recipes. Although they may seem too simplistic to the foodie or budding gourmet, they’re delicious, hearty, and usually economical.

In our cookbook, I included my recipes that I keep going back to–ones that I end up cooking at least once a month. I also chose a few that have been passed to me from my mom and mother-in-law (including the Cream Cheese Cookies, Spritz Cookies, and Chocolate-Cinnamon Cake). So they reflect what I like and can make fairly well, and this is probably true of most of the contributors.

The other thing I love about our new church cookbook is that it reflects our congregation. Some recipes are from cooks who raise food preparation to an art form; others cook because no one else in their family will and their simple, easy recipes make cooking a snap.

(And speaking of snaps, one of my favorite recipes is the 100 Year Old German Ginger Snap (p. 100). I’m a sucker for anything historical, so I love that Bill and Judy Everson added this old family recipe to the mix.)

Shepherd’s pie makes frequent appearances on pub menus (one of my favorites is on the Plaza in Kansas City). This is one of those stick-to-your-ribs comfort foods. Last week I happened upon this lighter version of the classic shepherd’s pie worth trying.

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This Easy Shepherd’s Pie (p. 45) is a great weekday recipe, perfect for a busy family on the go. I used mashed potatoes that I’d made previously, so that shortened the prep time. Another option is to use instant potatoes, which Charlene suggested. This might be a great dish to serve on the day after Thanksgiving. You could use up your leftover mashed potatoes, but have a nice change from the poultry.

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