Mexican Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious dish that can be made with ground beef, beans, corn and tomatoes or any combination of these ingredients. The recipe also includes potatoes as the base, which are then topped with cheese and baked in an oven until it turns golden brown. If you are looking for a way to spice up this recipe to make it more flavorful so that your guests will want seconds (or thirds!), then we have just the thing for you! We put together some tips on how to turn this dish into something special while still maintaining its Mexican roots.
– Using chili powder and cumin will add an additional layer of flavor that complements the other ingredients well! You can always substitute these spices for something else if you don’t want them, but we highly recommend it! – If you’re making this dish with beans, make sure to use black or kidney beans rather than white because they have more flavor; texture is similar so there are no issues using one instead of another. – Like most dishes made on top of potatoes, some people prefer their pie crispier while others like it softer. That’s why we recommend adding cornmeal as opposed to regular flour when creating your potato crust. The cornmeal will add a nice crunchy texture that you don’t get with flour alone!
– You can make this Shepherd’s Pie vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken and supplementing the cheese with soy or coconut milk to achieve desired consistency. – If you’re not into meat, we’ve even heard some people like to use tofu as an alternative for beef in their shepherd pie because it mimics its flavor well without getting stringy. We haven’t tried this but if someone has, please let us know what they thought about it!
– It’s important to prepare your potatoes before putting them on top so they’ll be ready when needed. Soaking them overnight is one way; another option is boiling and then cooling them.
– You can also make these into individual shepherd pies by using muffin tins to bake the filling and topping it with mashed potatoes or cornmeal biscuit crusts for a more traditional presentation.
– After baking, we recommend cooling your pie before storing in an airtight container up to four days in advance of reheating. Alternatively, you could freeze this dish for three months at which point it will need to be thawed out overnight in the refrigerator beforehand if desired (defrosting might take several hours).
What Brings each ingredient to the recipe?
-Ground beef: The base of the dish; meat provides protein and fat.
-Onion/Garlic: Flavors up the ground beef, onion is a staple in many Mexican dishes, garlic adds flavor to any recipe that uses it.
-Tomato sauce: Tomato paste can be substituted for tomato sauce if you want to keep things simple or are out of tomatoes entirely. Adds moisture and sweetness as well as acidity which balances out the richness from all those fatty ingredients above. I like using fresh tomatoes because they have more robust flavors than canned ones but go ahead and use whatever suits your tastes best! Be sure to buy diced or puree instead of crushed though so you get chunks in there too. Plus less work.
-Chili powder: Provides heat and a little more flavor to the dish without adding too much salt, which we’ve already got plenty of as it is. I like using ancho chili powder because its sweet and earthy flavors balance well with those from the other spices in this dish but go ahead and use whatever you have on hand if that’s all you can find!
-Cumin: One of my favorite spices. It’s earthy and toasty so it pairs well with the other flavors in this dish but be aware that if you use too much, your finished pie will taste like a whole lot of nothing but cumin. I prefer using ground over seeds because then again we don’t get all those big chunks which can kind of ruin the texture for some people
-Parsley: For color as well as freshness! If you have a bunch sitting around from making pesto or something else, just chop it up and toss into the filling before baking since it doesn’t need any cooking time.
-Ground black pepper: This is another spice where more isn’t necessarily better. I like to add just a little bit for some depth of flavor that might be missing.
-Ground cumin: As said before, the other spices will take care of adding their own flavors so use this sparingly!
-Tomatoes: Again, these are another ingredient where more is not better. You want about one cup per pie and if you can’t find good tomatoes in your area then canned ones work too with no need to drain them first. Just make sure they’re diced up finely or else it’ll look weird when you cut into the finished pie after baking because we all know how annoying it is cutting through those huge chunks…