Lately I’ve been craving leftover shepherd’s pie for lunch, which meant I had to make a shepherd’s pie for dinner.
It was good. It was shepherd’s pie, which is unexceptional if you don’t have the necessary knack for salt, pepper and butter, but it’s a good, hearty winter meal.
Now why would I crave leftovers of a fairly serviceable meal? Because leftover shepherd’s pie is a gift from the food gods. There are a lot of foods that are even better reheated the next day, of which chili is arguably the best. But leftover shepherd’s pie is a different thing entirely. You don’t pop this stuff in the microwave for thirty seconds and stir.
First, you have to start with good shepherd’s pie. Properly seasoned. Good, stiff, hand-mashed potatoes. (And no, whipped potatoes don’t count. Mashed. By. Hand.) If you don’t start with a properly made shepherd’s pie, you’ll end up with mush.
So first, you melt an obscene amount of butter in a frying pan.
Then you dump in the leftover shepherd’s pie and add a little garlic salt and more pepper, because shepherd’s pie can never have too much pepper. Then you leave it alone because you want the potatoes to get that buttery, brown crunch going on. Then you fry it even longer.
Then you add the cheese. How much cheese? All of it. I actually prefer American cheese on my leftover shepherd’s pie, but I don’t have any because…I ate it all.
Then you fold the cheese all in so it’s a giant mass of…heaven.
Then you thank the food gods you don’t have to see your personal trainer again until Tuesday and dig in.