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Simple Family Feasts - Shepherd's Pie

Halloween is behind us and today is All Saint's Day.  The shadows are growing long and after a busy week and a late night of merriment, we have lazed around the house today.  I have Celtic music playing in the background which is accompanied by carrots sauteing on the stove.  Inspired by the afternoon I spent reading the fifth book in Diana Galbadon's Outlander series, I decided to make a family favorite of Shepherd's Pie.  I've made this dish for years in many different ways.  But, it wasn't until I found a great Irish Beef Stew recipe from Lauren's Latest that I perfected it to my tastes. 

Tonight, as my own shepherd's pie simmered on the stove, I thought I would see what other bloggers were sharing for their own English inspired feasts.  After spending waaaaay too much time on Pinterest, I narrowed the SP postings down to the following promising recipes.  You might be curious what I used as my criteria? 

First, I eliminated anything that used a brown gravy mix. (I have to draw the line somewhere).  Then, I looked for different recipes that would appeal to different types of cooks (including myself). And, I looked for tradition.  In an time when we all want to stand out from the crowd, there is something to be said for a good old-fashioned meal.  You can always dress it up (pay attention to Southern Boy Dishes), but sometimes (as I saw on Pinterest) it can be a little too much.

The first is a meal is from Dash of Savory.  My mouth is watering.   I love the idea of using Guiness in my next pie! (RECIPE)

This next is a dish is from Iowa Girl Eats.  She always has great foods on her blog. (RECIPE)

Menu Musings brought a High Class Shepherd's Pie which looks gorgeous in that copper pot. (RECIPE)

Okay.  I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I love a crock-pot recipe that is free from  "cream of" and allows you to walk away for a day and come back to a great meal.  The recipe  from Moms with Crock Pots  itself looks wonderful.  I just have never made this in a crock-pot.   And this allows you to use pre-made mashed potatoes which makes this meal in the reach of any working family.  (RECIPE)

Another wonderful Guiness recipe from the Hungry Housewife Cooks.

 This is the one that makes me think I'll cheese on top next time. 

The one above, the last one, is mine.  I hoped to have a better shot of it but my 12 year

old son -  the one who stands 6 inches above me - dug in before I could get a good shot!

So you've seen my top contenders and I'll leave you with a on thought. Shepherd's pie....good....old-fashioned....comfort.

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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