It’s always cold in February here in the Pacific Northwest. You know spring is coming, but you can’t feel it yet. It’s the time of year for having your oven on, making comfort food, and trying new recipes. My husband Tim is a very willing participant in this process. He knows it’s a difficult job being the official taste tester, but he is used to me trying new things, and he is very skilled at it. There are times when I really don’t like the way a recipe turns out and I choose not to make it again. Tim, having been in the army, says it’s fine and never lets it go to waste. I am such a lucky woman! When I chose to have my “Do Over” I found Tim. He is patient, and quiet, and doesn’t say a lot, till he really has something to say. We are the complete polar opposites of one another and somehow God decided we should be together. When you step back and take a good long look at who we both are, I can see my grandma Pearl and Papa Joe. Grandma and I both fiery and hot-headed, grounded by quiet, patient men. It makes me laugh to myself knowing they are looking down at Tim and I saying, yup Kimmie chose well. My grandparent's wedding anniversary would have been February 11, and I was fortunate to see them celebrate 50 years together. I don’t think Tim and I will be alive long enough to get to 50 years, but together we will be giving it our best shot!
Today’s recipe is one of those that I tried, cut out of a magazine, and have been making ever since. It’s hearty and comforting. A great company coming over kind of dish! It is being served in these darling Sweetiepie Soup cups regularly 61.99 on sale for 49.60 each, and Sweetiepie lidded casserole dish regularly 99.99 on sale for 80.99. Go to the Pottery Avenue website and use code Twila or PAF for your 20% discount. I love this set of pottery. So many different uses! Individual bread puddings, brownies, pot pies, and of course soup!

From my heart to yours, Smacznego!

Kim’s Meatball Shepherds Pie

  • Onion gravy
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cups dry sherry

Finely chop two onions. Using a 5-quart pan over medium heat, sauté onions in 2 tablespoons of butter until richly browned, about 15 minutes.
Add 2 teaspoons sugar and stir for two minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and stir until browned 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups of beef broth and return to heat and stir until boiling. Add sherry and let reduce down to 2 cups.

Meatballs

  • One and a half pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • One large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef broth.

In a bowl combine ground beef, parsley, mustard, flour, egg, salt, pepper 1/2 cup beef broth. Mix well.
Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls
Bring reduced gravy mixture down to a simmer and add meatballs. Poach for 20 minutes or until no longer pink on the inside. (This is where Tim the official taste tester comes in handy!)

Meanwhile, while the meatballs are poaching, make your mashed potato topping.

Gruyere Mashed Potatoes

  • 6 cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • Dashes of milk

Mix potatoes, butter, cream cheese, and gruyere all together. Add dashes of milk if too stiff.
About half of this mixture will be placed into your casserole dish and the rest I place into a piping bag with a large star tip. You can also just spoon the mashed potatoes decoratively on top of your meatball mixture if you choose.

In a generous size, a deep casserole dish spread some of the potato mixtures around the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Filled with the meatballs and gravy and then pipe the remaining potatoes on the top. Bake in a 400° oven 30-35 minutes until potatoes is browned. I love serving this with sautéed green cabbage.