Ok, it wasn’t “cooking”, but rather,”heating.” We picked up a frozen Shepherd’s Pie at Trader Joe’s last week, and Mrs. BurgerDogBoy had a hankering for it last night. It seemed like the perfect comfort food choice for a snowy night in Portland.
Having lived in London, I’ve consumed my share of shepherd’s pie, good, bad, and indifferent.
According to Wikipedia, the shepherd’s pie first came to light in the late 1700s, but known then as “cottage pie,” and was basically any leftover meat baked in a dish lined and covered with mashed potatoes. The first reference to the name “Shepherd’s” seems to have occurred about 100 years later, as a distinction from “cottage” containing any type of meat, but “Shepherd’s” being made with lamb.
The classic recipe calls for a layer of mixed vegetables in a casserole dish, topped with meat, and covered with the mash. The dish is baked first, then set under the broiler to crisp up the potatoes. On occasion, a pan gravy is mixed in with the vegetables and meat.
Trader Joe’s version is described on the box as “seasoned beef with gravy and vegetables, topped with creamy mashed potatoes.” It can be heated in the microwave for 8-10 minutes, or conventional oven at 425 for 25-30 minutes.
I chose the latter prep method, as I usually do, but after the required time, the dish was still frozen in the middle, so I finished it in the microwave. Taking the opposite tack might have been a better idea.
Like most eat and eat products, you should let this one rest for a few minutes after it is pulled from the oven.
The dish was flavorful, and fairly ample for two servings with 170 calories per serving and 22 g carbs, 1.5 g saturated fat. That’s not really that unhealthy, if you watch what else you serve it with (we had more mixed vegetables).
We both liked it, and will have it again, I am sure. On those few occasions when I have made it from scratch at home, I have used ground beef, but using rough cuts of beef was a better idea.
I do not have a photo of the finished product, straight from the oven. Why? Er,ah, camera trouble? Nah,actually, I dropped it. It wasn’t pretty! 7 second rule applied.
It would appear from the USDA plant number of the package, this product is made for Trader Joe’s by Huxtables of Vernon, CA.