Cheese Curd Shepherd’s Pie

Cheese Curd Shepherd’s Pie

Makes 6 – 8 servings 

For The Potatoes 

2 pounds russet potatoes 

½ cup heavy (whipped) cream 

½ cup butter, plus more for dolloping 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves 

Sea salt and cracked black pepper 

For The Filling 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 medium white onion, diced 

2 large carrots, diced 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves 

3 garlic cloves, minced 

1 ½ pounds ground beef, 80/20 

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

1 tablespoon tomato paste 

1 ¼ cups chicken stock 

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

½ cup frozen corn kernels 

½ cup frozen peas

1 ½ cups cheese curds 

Sea salt and cracked black pepper 

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 375 degrees F and preheat with the lid closed, about 10-15 minutes.

Peel and quarter your potatoes, then boil in salted water until fork tender. Mash, then add your butter and cream, and whip with all of your strength until silky smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Yum. 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add your oil. When the oil is shimmering, add your onion and carrot, season with a pinch of salt, and cook until softened, about 6 – 7 minutes. Add the rosemary and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, then add your beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until just starting to brown all over, about 7 – 8 minutes. Add the flour and mix thoroughly, then add the tomato paste, stock, and Worcestershire, and cook until thickened and glorious. Season to taste, then add your corn and peas. Ladle the meat mixture into a baking dish, then top with a generous layer of cheese curds. Spoon over your potatoes, then top the spuds with fresh thyme leaves, dollop with 4 or 5 spoonfuls of butter, and a crack or two of pepper. More Butter = More Better. 

Bake on your preheated Traeger until golden and bubbling, about 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Delicious!

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