Homemade Creamy Corn Shepard's Pie
A month or two back, I had this idea to make a meatloaf out of the leftover ground beef we had and as much as I hate to admit it, it was really good. As a child/teenager/younger person than I am, I would've cringed at the idea of "meatloaf". Just, ew. HOWEVER, as it turned out, it is not "ew". Then, Matt had this idea that maybe we should try making all those meals our grandma's force fed us when we were kids and see if our taste buds really have been damaged enough to enjoy fierce flavor!
Second up on the list of throwback foods we tried was Shepard's Pie. Why is it called Shepard's Pie? Great question. I have no clue, but, I knew how to make it. I knew I could spice it up (literally) with some herbs, and add flavor to what I feel has always been bland, sad dinner.
Every holiday dinner, among other things, I always bring the garlic mashed potatoes. A great friend taught me how to make them when I was a new mom, and had no experience cooking for myself, so I never really strayed from the recipe. I did things here and there to just keep myself learning, but the way I know has always knocked them out of the park.
And then, at a family gathering my sister-in-law once brought to me cheesy corn casserole. I didn't know what she did to that corn but it was a hit. So I asked her the basic idea, looked on the internet for some recipes and as I was researching I thought, "What if I used my fav. mashed potatoes and this cheesy corn to make Shepard's Pie?"
Thank you for doing my trip down the food knowledge memory lane, we have arrived at our destination! Creamy Corn Shepard's Pie.
First things first, I love to make garlic mashed potatoes but I ALSO love Bob Evans mashed potatoes you can buy, microwave and use and folks, if you want to make a good batch of mashed and don't have the time, energy or knowledge this stuff works great. But, if you're here for the real deal, homemade Shepard's Pie recipe I have, you're going to start by slightly peeling the sides off of some red potatoes.
You can just chop and boil red potatoes, redskin garlic mashed is a huge restaurant side dish, because it doesn't require the skinning of 500 potatoes for the dinner rush. This dish, I recommend taking some off the sides, because the corn has a skin like texture around it and we want a nice fluid bite of meat, corn, and creamy potato. Chop them in half, and then into small chunk. Place them in a pot of water and turn the burner setting too HIGH.
While that waits to boil and cook, start making your corn. We're going to skip the canned, creamed corn this time and make our own. The recipe for "cheesy corn casserole" is to blend the ingredients and then bake with the cheese on top, but were going to blend it all before the baking. Set your oven to 350 degrees. In a small boiling pot, set to medium, toss in the cubed room temperature cream cheese and butter. Using a whisk, blend it until it's smooth. During this process, it is going to get chunky and look weird, just keep whisking. After 3 minutes add in the milk. You will need a thicker dairy so I used whole milk. Continue to whisk, once the cream is smooth, add salt and pepper to your desire. Using a mixing bowl with the corn already inside, add in the creamy sauce, and a small finger full of shredded cheddar cheese, mix again. Spray a baking dish (big enough for the Shepard's Pie when it's time to put it all together) with cooking spray. Spread the creamy corn across the bottom, bake for 10 minutes in the oven or until you see the sides begin to boil.
Next up, while you wait for the corn, your potatoes should be just about done, drain those out and transfer into a mixing bowl. Set aside. You will need a frying pan, place the ground beef in, over the top season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and dried thyme. Cook that on medium, breaking apart and stirring around every few minutes. In the time between make the garlic mashed potatoes.
Use an electric mixer or a hand masher if you prefer, to get the potatoes mashed enough to add the; milk, sour cream, butter, garlic power, salt + pepper. Mash or mix until completely blended. I recommend the mixer if you have it, it's so much easier and the texture is smoother.
When corn has reached it's time, take it out, let it rest. Finish cooking the ground beef, it does not have to be thoroughly cooked, as it will be going in the oven to cook more. Drain any excess grease then let the layering begin!
Corn is already down, add the ground beef as layer number two, then spread the garlic mashed allllllll over the top. Pop it in the oven at 350 degrees until you see the sides begin to "golden" and the little bit of bubbling start happening, give it another couple minutes. Change oven setting to BROIL and set it to LOW. You will need to keep a watchful eye, to avoid buying this now. Once the entire top of the mashed potatoes is golden and bubbling, pull it out and LET. IT. REST. It will fall apart into mush and burn your mouth on every bite if you try to cut it out right away. Give her 5 minutes.
If you ask my kids they say serve it with apple sauce, and since they agree to eat something other than mac+cheese I agree to try it with whatever they want. However, we do enjoy a little side of apple sauce to go along. They also call it "chefus pie".
for the mashed potatoes (unless you choose to use Bob Evan's, then skip)
4-5 red potatoes
softened salted butter
salt + pepper
for the corn
a bag of frozen sweet corn, left out to defrost
4 oz of softened cream cheese, cubes
2 TBSP of softened butter
a handful of shredded yellow cheddar cheese
salt + pepper
1 lb. of ground beef
salt + pepper
1. Begin by dicing up the slightly red potatoes. Fill a large stovetop pot with water. Drop in the cubed potatoes and bring to a boil.
2. When the potatoes are cooked, 3-5 minute after they begin to boil, you should be able to stick a fork in one and it is soft enough to go through smoothly. Drain the potatoes and transfer to an electric mixing safe large bowl.
3. Add your ground hamburger to a frying pan with salt and pepper and cook that on MEDIUM, chopping apart and flipping around while you finish the mashed potatoes.
4. Use your electric mixer to whip the potatoes, they don't need to be completely done but enough so that you can add in the rest of the ingredients without it clumping and the milk splashing.
5. Next up add in the following ingredients to your taste and texture preferences (keeping in mind that if you like your potatoes "thinner" they may not hold up well after baking on top of the ground beef and corn) Start with 1 TBSP of garlic powder, a nice shake or grind of salt and pepper, 1 TBSP of butter, a large dollop of sour cream, and a splash of milk. Mix well and taste. You know yourself, if you think you need more seasoning, add it in and blend again. I can most definitely assume you will want more salt, butter and garlic powder, but it's up to you.
6. Set oven to 350 degrees.
7. The hamburger should be cooked now or very soon, when that is ready and you don't see an abundance of pink left, drain any access fat and set aside with the mashed potatoes to cool off a little bit.
8. The next step is making the creamed corn. In a small pan set to LOW/MED add in the cream cheese and butter, whisk continuously until it looks like creamy sauce.
9. Pour the defrosted corn into a medium sized bowl, and pour the cream sauce over the top, use a spatula to mix.
10. Toss in a handful of cheddar cheese and mix again.
11. Grease a medium baking dish.
12. Spread the creamy corn mixture across the bottom evenly as possible.
13. Layer the ground beef over the corn.
14. Spread the garlic mashed potatoes evenly across the top of the ground beef.
15. Bake at 350 until the potato layer starts getting golden brown. Between 20-30 minutes.
16. Switch oven setting to LOW BROIL, and watch it very carefully. When the entire layer of potatoes, including the middle begins bubbling, remove from the oven, turn it off and let it rest on a heat safe surface for about 5 minutes.
17. Use a spatula to slice out servings and enjoy!