So we had a jar (actually a box) of trader joes gravy left over from thanksgiving. Seeing how it is now 3 months after thanksgiving I decided that I needed to use it up. We also had a package of instant mashed potatoes. You must know that I hate (HATE) instant mashed potatoes. I think they taste like paste. I did not buy the instant mashed potatoes..someone else in the house did.
At any rate, I was stuck with these two items and I needed to use them, so I decided to make a shepherds pie. But since the gravy was turkey gravy, it wouldn’t be real shepherds pie. It would be made with chicken.
So it was a weeknight and I figured that I could just throw together this meal since the gravy and the potatoes were already done. This was a mistake on my part and this turned into a much bigger adventure.
So I had some chicken already cooked and in the refrigerator. I boiled some carrots until tender. I “cooked” the instant mashed potatoes. All I needed to do was add the gravy, put everything together and throw it in the oven. BUT when I opened the gravy I thought it smelled…funny. Not rancid, rancid would have been better. You know where you stand with rancid. But funny…that is a whole different story. I stood there in the kitchen for 10 minutes smelling the gravy and trying to decide if it was ok or not. I finally got up the nerve to taste it. Still not rancid, but definately not right. Metallic is the word that comes to mind. So I decided the gravy was no good, and I hoped the little bit that I tasted wouldn’t kill me.
Now I was left with everything ready to go for shepherds pie, except I had no gravy. I was too close to being done with dinner to let that stop me though. I had no choice but to make the gravy from scratch. The good thing is, it’s crazy easy.
Start with a roux; butter and flour in a sauce pan.
Cook the roux until golden brown, stirring constantly.
Add two cups of hot chicken stock. Wisk until smooth.
Add salt, pepper and garlic powder (not garlic salt)
At this point my gravy was a bit thin, so I thickened it with some corn starch that had been mixed with some water.
The final ingredient was a splash of milk.
That’s it for the gravy. So I added the carrots, chicken and some frozen peas to the gravy and mixed.
I poured that into a large oven proof dish and then topped with the mashed potatoes.
When you make shepherds pie, if you don’t get a *tight* seal with your mashed potatoes over the entire dish, gravy will shoot up out of the dish like a volcano and make a mess. That is what happened to me. Ok, maybe it isn’t like a volcano, but gravy certainly went everywhere.
So I didn’t get a nice shot of the finished product with a beautiful golden crust (cause it was covered in gravy). But here is the finished product plated up.
We had ours with a nice green salad and some mac-n-cheese (because I didn’t think shepherd’s pie was starchy enough on its own).
Anyway, it was good. And Jason was just happy to have mashed potatoes and gravy…even if the mashed potatoes were instant.