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Gary shares his favorite memory from college days when he lived with 6 other guys. Mondays was his turn to cook so he would make his famous Shepherd's Pie. Between a busy schedule of school and Monday night band practice this was the perfect meal for his hungry roommates. The only problem, would there be any leftovers when he got home?
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch sauté pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and sauté just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Mix in frozen peas and carrots and continue to cook, approximately 4 minutes.
  6. Stir in gravy and combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  7. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add milk, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Add ½ cup of the graded cheese and stir until mixed. Cover and remove from heat.
  8. Spread the gravy mixture evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish.
  9. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of mashed potatoes.
  10. Place dish on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.
  11. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 Milk or half n half
  • 1 cup graded cheese
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 bag frozen Peas
  • 1 bag frozen Carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (or Turkey)
  • 1-teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jar instant gravy (12 ounce)
  • Optional: add 1/2 bag frozen corn kernels