Changes To Our Meals
We all know life has changed over the past year. Okay, that is an understatement but I know I know need to go into all of the ways life has changed. I want to tell you how my family’s dinners have changed. Prior to Covid-19, my family and I focused on plant based options most days of the week. We still included meat of one sort or another a couple of times per week but most of our dinners were vegetarian or even vegan. When we started ordering our groceries online for curbside pick up, things changed for us. Being able to stop by the store on the way home from work/school, kiddo in tow, became something we are less comfortable with. Picking up groceries only every other week means relying more on foods that store well longer term (hello freezer!). Long story short, we’ve started eating more meats because they are easy to store in the freezer long term. As our eating habits change, it only feels right to shift the blog as well. My first beef based recipe for you is Tot Topped Shepherd’s Pie.
Tot Topped Shepherd’s Pie
In addition to introducing more meats into our diet, we are focusing on smaller dishes to accommodate our small family without having excessive leftovers or waste. I recently saw this idea of topping a shepherd’s pie with tater tots and I knew I needed to make my own version of this. I love a traditional shepherd’s pie and even have a plant based, Baby Bella Shepherd’s Pie on here. But my least favorite part of making the traditional version is the mashed potatoes. The peeling, cutting, boiling, and mashing of the potatoes seems to take forever. Worth it? Yes. Do I always have time for those steps? No. These tater tots save tons of time and give a slightly crispy texture that is a hit with my whole family. Added bonus? Tots keep in the freezer until you’re ready to make this dish (as do the ground beef and peas). Give this Tot Topped Shepherd’s Pie a go and let me know what you think of this new recipe!
Tot Topped Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 3 large carrots, cut into ¼" slices
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 package frozen tater tots
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown ground beef. Drain any excess grease.
- Add carrots to beef and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add onion and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir until evenly coated.
- Add peas, beef stock, and tomato paste. Stir until paste is evenly distributed.
- Transfer mixture into a greased 8×8 pan. Place tater tots on top of mixture in straight rows then bake for 25-30 minutes or until tots are golden. Serve warm.