Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins

Ingredients

½ pound ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, diced (white or yellow)
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ cups frozen mixed vegetables (pea, corn, carrots or fresh)
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef stock or broth or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in hot water
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Black pepper, to taste
4 large potatoes, scrubbed clean
¾ cup milk, full or low fat
2 tablespoon butter, optional but highly recommended
Salt, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prick the potatoes with a fork (about 6 times on each potato) and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Then turn and microwave for a further 5 minutes. Pierce with a knife to check if they are cooked. Remove from microwave (use a dish cloth or hot pad). Cut off the tops and scoop out the center using a spoon, leaving a fairly thin skin (about 0.5 cm / 0.2”). Place the potato scooped out in a bowl. Add milk, butter and salt and mash with a potato masher until smooth, or to your liking. If you want to pipe the filling, place the mashed potato into a piping back with a large star tip nozzle. Filling: Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes until softened. Turn up heat to high. Add mince beef (ground beef) and cook, breaking up the mince as you go, until nicely browned and cooked, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle over flour and stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to simmer and continue to stir until the sauce is thick and glossy, around 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Assemble potatoes: Fill each potato with the potato mixture so it is slightly heaped. Push down lightly to pack the filling in well. Pipe over the mashed potato, or scoop it on with a spoon then fluff it up with a fork. You probably won’t use all of it – save the remainder or serve it on the side. Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the mashed potato is starting to brown on the ridges. Serve immediately!

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