It’s spring time and that means it’s time to gear up for camping season and dutch oven cooking. I’ve always enjoyed using my dutch oven to cook over the coals while camping but I’ve never used cast iron for much of anything else until a year or so ago. I picked up some enameled cast iron pots and have really enjoyed cooking with them for everyday meals. I’m sure many of you are familiar with and extensively use cast iron skillets as well but I still haven’t really branched out in that direction yet.
I recently received the new Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun exploring some fun new ways to cook with Cast Iron. Once again, the Virtual Potluck team has come up with an assortment of great dishes for you to try from the new cookbook. Check out the roundup page here!
I went with a classic comfort dish from the cookbook but it had a fun twist that I think made it something that I’ll enjoy many more times. It was a traditional Shepherd’s Pie but instead of using ground beef it used chuck roast which made it so much better.
If you’d like a chance to win a copy of the new Lodge Cookbook, leave a comment below before April 8th and I’ll choose a lucky winner!
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds chuck roast
- 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup water
+Mashed Potato Crust:
- 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, half the onion, half the garlic, the salt, black pepper and red pepper to the pan and cook until the beef is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, oregano, thyme and parsley. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven; bake until the meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours.
- Remove the meat and broth and wipe the pan clean. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the remaining onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add the carrots, peas, and celery and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.
- Return the meat to the pan, stir, and add enough of the broth to cover. Season with salt to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
- Place the flour in a cup and slowly add the water, whisking until smooth; if any lumps form, strain the flour mixture through a sieve. Add the flour mixture to the pan and stir well to blend.
- Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Make the mashed potato crust: Place the potatoes in a stockpot; add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly. While the potatoes are still hot, stir in the butter until it melts. Add the milk, half-and-half, and pepper; mash until smooth.
- Spoon the mashed potatoes over the filling in the dutch oven. Bake on the center rack, uncovered, 30 minutes.
- Turn on the broiler and broil until the potatoes are browned, about 5 minutes. Check often to prevent burning.
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I am sure you love food. Otherwise, you won’t be here. As a full-time and a part-time chef at a local restaurant, I know my way around food. Ever since I was a young girl, I enjoyed helping my mom in the kitchen.
We would often experiment with the spices, ingredients, and flavors and create great meals for my brothers and dad. Since cocking was my first passion, I decided to go in that direction. I finished culinary school, got my first job, and started developing my skills.
Later when kids came, I had all the liberty in the kitchen to combine some of the unique flavors. A lot of them were a success, but now and there I would make a couple of mistakes.