Last week my brother had to go to the ER because he literally burned a whole in his stomach. That might not be the exact clinical diagnosis, but this was a bit more than indigestion. I guess all the years of waking up and not eating until 2pm have finally caught up with his tender body. No longer can he gorge himself with an entire rotisserie chicken followed by half a tray of brownies, followed by a strong IPA. Yes my brother follows the o'l starve and gorge diet that comes with the mindset of "I forgot to eat today." Sadly, I was not blessed with these genes. It appears that this routine finally took its toll on his body as his stomach tried to consume itself last Wednesday night.
Now despite his eating habits, my brother is a very trustworthy and responsible person who loyally and blindly follows every doctor recommendation possible. So, for the short term, he's on a no tomato, no vinegar, no citrus, no beer, no FUN diet. Note, this was funny to me as I dangled my Bloody Mary in front of his eyes this weekend. Literally a culmination of all of the above. I also had beer too.
So with this new diet, I was faced with a new challenge. For those of you that do not know, my brother and I live together, and I mentally feed off of the challenge...of feeding him. But these requirements threw me for a loop, since I'm a bit of a tomato/vinegar heavy kind of cook. Last night, I took all of my bland ingredients and laid them on the counter. Potatoes, cheese, corn, flour. I sifted through my fridge looking for the appropriate greenery to add, and of course, we needed some meat. That's when I settled on Shepherd's Pie. But I went for a twist. Instead of the traditional mashed potato topping, I opted for a more simple "galette style" layering of potatoes. Not only is it easier, but it's quite pretty as well.
3 pounds red potatoes washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound ground beef
1 pound fresh green beans chopped 1 inch thick
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
4 tablespoon butter
2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (cheddar works fine too)
1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
olive oil to coat pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes. Remove from pain and drain. Make sure not to overcook the potatoes since they also will be going into the oven. Layer the potatoes on the bottom of a 9x12 inch glass pan so that it is completely covered.
In a large skillet heat olive oil in the pan. Brown the grown beef until no pink is showing. Remove the beef and place on separate plate. Drain excess fat. Add in onions, garlic, green beans, carrots, corn and peans and stir until softened. Add the beef back into the pan and toss until the mixture is combined.
In a small sauce pan melt butter and slowly mix in flour, whisking to make a roux. Cook over medium heat until the mixture bubbles and becomes lightly browned. Add in the milk and the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Add the cheese mixture into the ground beef. Pour the beef mixture over the potatoes in the pan and top the beef mixture with the remaining potato slices. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with breadcrumbs. Broil until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.