1 pound ground beef
2 cups beef stock
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ -inch chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup milk
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 large onion, diced
4 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and chopped (optional)
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
½ cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Madeira or ruby port (optional)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce instead of salt
¼ tea ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut and rinse the starch of potatoes. Place potatoes in medium saucepan; add water to just cover. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft and tip of paring knife inserted into potato meets no resistance, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Return saucepan to low heat and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until any surface moisture on potatoes has evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. Add 4 TBLS butter and milk to potatoes. Mash potatoes well with potato masher. Stir in cheddar cheese. Season with white pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add carrots and cover. Cook carrots stirring occasionally until they begin to soften. Add onion, mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just starting to soften. Add the beef and break it up into smaller chunks as it browns.
Once the beef is brown, add 2 tablespoon flour, tomato paste or ketchup. Add Madeira if desired, cooking and scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Add broth, Worcestershire, soy and bring to a simmer, scraping up any remaining browned bits. Add peas. Return to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until beef is cooked and peas are heated through about 5 to 10 minutes while continuing to stir occasionally. Don’t over break up meat.
If gravy has not thickened, stir cornstarch into about 2 tablespoons of water together in a small Pyrex bowl. SLOWLY stir cornstarch into filling a small amount at a time mixed and continue to simmer for 30 seconds until the correct thickness appears. Add add 2 TBLS butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Move meat filling into four crock pots.
Place mashed potatoes in large zipper-lock bag and snip off 1 corner to create 1-inch opening. Pipe potatoes in even layer over the filling in the crock pots, making sure to cover entire surface. Mound potatoes up with back of spoon, then use tines of fork to make ridges over surface. Place crock pots on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown.
Caution crock pots will be hot.
Move crock pots to small plates and serve hot!
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