Shepherd’s Pie As Only Don Can Make

Okay, this is usually attributed to the Irish and Don being anything but, made this the very best totally comfort food you might wish for. Irish or not!

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 /2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn

In a large iron cast pan, heat the olive oil, adding the onions and saute until they begin to soften, which should be about  5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the carrots and cook an additional 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add the beef to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper and mix with the onion mixture, stirring and cooking until the beef is browned. About 10 minutes.

Add the spices, tomato and worchestershire sauces, stirring to combine. Sprinkle the flour over the top and cook until the mixture is equally dispersed.

Now add the broth and cook for a couple of minutes until almost absorbed. Now stir in the peas and corn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down.



  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Cook until done , drain and press through potato ricer. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Place the meat mixture in a casserole dish and spread the topping over the top. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake in 375 oven for 45 minutes. You may wish to place this on a cooking tray so the filling won’t drip over.

A Really Tasty Shepherd’s Pie (Yummier Now With Subtle Changes)

This is the 1,829 recipe on my site. Enjoy!

This recipe is great when having company and the meal is more on the casual theme.

This recipe will serve 6, but you can easily double the ingredients to serve 12.

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp. worchestshire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. Italian parsley
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can whole kernal corn (Green Giant is best)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 large potatoes boiled in water along with 1 garlic clove (making garlic mashed potatoes)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 /4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion, carrot, and meat. Cook until browned which would take about 10 minutes.

Drain the fat, add the broth tomato paste and herbs, simmering until the juice begins to thicken and then add the peas and corn.

Pour this into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and set aside.

Cook the potatoes until done. Drain the water and put the potatoes through a ricer, then add the butter, cream cheese and cream. You only need to mix this with a spatula, it is soooo creamy and delicious.

Pile the potatoes over the meat mixture and bake for about 35 minutes until the potatoes are a golden colour around the edges. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top before baking.

**NOTE:  July 2023 -Don made this yesterday and we all said how great it was. He laughed and said it was my own recipe and he just made a couple of “adjustments” to it. WOW! it truly is delicious and worthy of praise.



Pork Loin With Honey Garlic Sauce

I promise you, this is THE best pork loin. Don made it yesterday and it literally melts in  your mouth. Get ready! Here we go.

  • 2.5-3.5 pork loin roast, fat and skin removed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


  • 1 1/4 tsp. paprika (mild or smoked)
  • 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  • 1/3 cup golden corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper


  • 1/3 cup low sodium stock (beef or chicken) or broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

Pat dry pork with a paper towel. Combine 1 tbsp. of oil with the rub ingredients. Season pork, rubbing the mixture into the meat.

Heat remaining oil (about 2 tsp.) in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Sear pork all over until golden brown, rotating the pork around to avoid burning the spices.

Melt butter in the same pan as the pork was in, scraping up any leftover bits in the pan. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients, bringing to a rapid simmer for 1 minute.


Place seared pork in a 6 qt. slow cooker. Pour sauce over the pork, cover with a lid and cook on LOW setting for 4-5 hours.

Transfer pork onto serving dish and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 10-15 minutes.

While pork is resting, pour juices from the slow cooker bowl into a pot large enough to fit the liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.

Mix 2 tbsp. of the juices with 4 tsp. of cornstarch. Whisk cornstarch slurry into sauce and let simmer for a good 5 minutes. Note: sauce will thicken as it cooks. Simply thicken to syrup-like consistency.

Slice pork and serve drizzle with the Honey Garlic sauce.

Don served with potato rostis, but you could used mashed potatoes in you prefer.


Roasted Pork Loin

This recipe will serve 4 – 6 people



  • 3 lb. center cut pork loin, boned, rolled and tied*
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 7-8 small carrots, peeled and left mostly whole
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. apple juice, divided
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and cut in 8 sections
  • 1 tsp dry Rosemary,
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 cup  Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut in bite sized pieces (3 lbs in total)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pat dry the pork with paper towels  and place on a platter. Coat with 3 tbsp. of the oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

In a large, heavy bottomed roasting pan or Dutch oven, large enough to fit your roast, bring burner to medium high and once hot, add two tbsp of the oil . When simmering hot, add the pork, fat side down and sear and turn every two minutes for a total of 10 minutes This should sear the roast on all sides, including both ends.

Remove the roast from the pan to the platter. Add 1 cup of apple juice to deglaze the pan. After this has reduced by half and all the brown bits are scraped up from the bottom shut the burner off and add all the carrots, onions and Rosemary. Pour the chicken stock over the vegetables and set the roast on top of the vegetables.

In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, Using a pastry brush, brush this all over the seared roast.

Place the pan in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven, and cover with tin foil until the roast has reached 140 degrees (about 45 min)., and the vegetables continue cooking. Our 3 lb. roast took 45 minutes ater the initial 30 minutes to reach 140 degrees.

Remove the roast to a platter. Pour off all the liquid into a saucepan.

Add the potatoes to the pan with the vegetables and add the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil, 1/2 , tsp of the salt and remaining pepper and toss. roast for 15-25 minutes until they are tender.  After 15 minutes, toss the vegetables and roast a further 15 – 20 minutes. While these are roasting, in a small saute  pan melt the butter over medium low heat and add the flour, cooking for about 4 minutes to make a smooth roux.

Heat 2 cups of the reserved liquid that collected from resting the meat, and once it starts to bubble, add all the roux and whisk to make the gravy Keep  temperature of the gravy on low, or reheat when ready to serve.

When the vegetables are cooked, uncover the roast and slice,  serving with the vegetables and gravy.

Your family (guests) will rave about this and you can think to yourself “Damn I did this”.

Demi Glace (Au Jus)

Last week Don made the individual Beef Wellington (on site) and this is the Demi Glace that he made to go with it. In a word: YUM!

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth, separated
  • 1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 bouillon cube (if necessary)

Form a roux with the butter and flour and cook out for 2 minutes, add the red wine and cook for another 3-4 minutes to cook out the alcohol.

Whisk in the 1/2 cup of broth and incorporate with the roux, whisking to avoid any lumps. Gradually add in the 1 1/2 cups of broth, again whisking constantly.


Note: Depending on the richness of the wine, you may wish to add part or all of the bouillon cube. or even the rest of the broth.

Hamburger Helper – New Way, Homemade

When my daughter was very young, and I was a single Mom on a limited wage, this was an alternative to meal I used from time to time. but it came in a box.

Don made his own version and it is yummy. You want to have an easy, quick meal to serve, go for it. It is very tasty.

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • fresh parsley for garnish

Add the oil to a large skillet and heat to a sizzle. Add the ground beef and cook until browned and broken up. This will help in an even browning.

Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender for 2 minutes.

Now add the tomato paste and mix well to incorporate the ingredients and season with salt, pepper and paprika.

Add the milk, broth and macaroni. Stir this well and cover. When it has started to boil reduce the temperature and simmer for 9-10 minutes. The macaroni should be tender but not mushy. Stir this really well so it does not burn or stick to the pan.

Add the cheddar cheese and simply stir until the cheese has melted.

Sprinkle a light touch of chopped fresh parsley and serve.

Sirloin Tip Roast

Don did it again. This roast is fabulous and will make your Sunday dinner really special. Great also for company.

  • 3-4 lb.  Sirloin Tip roast
  • cracked salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tsp. each of thyme and rosemary
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves

Mix the herbs and spices and coat the roast. Place in a gallon zipper lock seal bag for a total of 4 hours prior to cooking.

One hour before serving, remove the meat from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.

Heat a Dutch oven and add the olive oil. When the oil is shimmering and hot, add the beef, onion and garlic and sear the meat on all sides for about 2 minutes each side.

On a cookie sheet pan, set an oven proof rack in it. Heat your oven to 350 degrees and cook the meat for approximately 90-95 minutes. Test with a thermometer for an internal temperature of 140-145. (After removing it from the oven it will continue to cook, so if you remove it at a temperature of 135, it will be perfect when ready to serve.)

Tent the meat with tin foil and rest for 15 minutes. Test for an internal temperature of 140 – 145 degrees. Slice on an angle. If more liquid drips while cutting, just add to your gravy.

Any bits left in the Dutch oven should be discarded. It is only the burned herbs and will not be usable for gravy.

Serve with garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables of your choice. Add a lovely glass of Sangiovese wine and you have a wonderful finish to your day.



Braised Short Ribs – Asian Style

It is so much fun to dine at the Paquette restaurant with Don at the helm. This is one delicious dish to serve. It made two meals for the three of us and, yes, licking the plate was a good show of appreciation. Uh, sorry Mom!

  • 5 lbs. boneless beef short ribs, cut into 4 oz. portions
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • enough water to cover the ribs
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. crush red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • long grain rice, for serving
  • 2 tsp. finely grated orange rind, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a wide Dutch oven, combine the ribs, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, water, onion, crushed red pepper and 2 tbsp. of the orange juice. The pan you are using must be deep enough to ensure the ribs are submersed in the water. Bake, covered in the oven, for 3 hours or until the meat separates easily.

Remove the ribs from the liquid and cover to keep warm. Drain the fat off the liquid and discard. Place the remaining liquid in a medium saucepan with 1/4 cup of the oyster sauce and bring to a boil over a medium heat until there is approximately 1 1/4 cups left. Strain this through a fine mesh strainer, making sure to discard any solids. Stir in the remaining orange juice and lemon juice.

Return the ribs and reduced sauce to the Dutch oven, coating the ribs with the sauce. Bake for about 10 minutes until all are heated through and are slightly glazed. Serve hot over the rice and season each portion with the orange zest.

Bring on a fresh, crisp salad and glass of lovely Sangiovese red wine. What could be better?

Sauce For Ribs Baked in Slow Oven

Don makes this almost as ‘the one and only sauce’ when baking ribs.

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup Lillies Smoky BBQ Sauce, #22
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Joe’s Stuff Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • pinch salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 tsp. dark cane jelly

Combine the above ingredients and blend really, really well.

Place 8 bone-in country style pork ribs weighing about 8 oz. each in your slow cooker and pour the sauce over all the meat to cover.

The ideal baking time on this is a preheated oven of 275 degrees for 3 hours. Depending on your slow cooker, you could bake 3 1/2 hours.

You will hear only means and groans of appreciation for this delight.

Serve either with garlic mashed potatoes or simply a green salad with warm dinner rolls and a glass of good quality wine like a Pinot Noir, Merlot or  Malbec. In a word and, of course, finger licking aside….ENJOY! You did it.

Porchetta Sandwich With Special Cranberry Pear Relish

At a family reunion a couple of years ago, I had Porchetta for the first time. OMG! Take the time and go for it. Here again, you can proclaim “damn I did this”.

  • 1 tbsp. chopped Rosemary leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 3 lb. boneless pork belly
  • 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine

In a small bowl, mix together the first 6 items and set aside.

On a cutting board, place pork skin-side down and score a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife, inserting only to about 1/2 inch deep. Rub the meat all over with the spice mixture. Roll this up, skin side out and tie with twine in a pattern to keep in shape. Place on a plate and wrap with plastic wrap putting in the refrigerator over night.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring to  room temperature for a minimum of one hour.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Place the meat on a rack set into a roasting pan and rub all over with the oil. Season lightly with kosher salt and roast for about 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 and bake a further 2 hours.

At the end of the 2 hour bake, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake a further 30 minutes to crisp up the skin. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 30 minutes.


Cranberry Pear Relish

Make this up while the meat is cooking.

  • 6 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 large pear, diced to get 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans

Add everything up to the pecans in a saucepan and cook for about 18-20 minutes until the cranberries have burst and the sauce has thickened.

Pour into a sealed container and set in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Just before serving, add the pecans.

Making the Sandwich

  • 8 Ciabatta rolls, cut in half lengthwise
  • Mayonnaise
  • chopped iceberg lettuce

To assemble, butter the buns and spread some mayonnaise on one side and on the other, spread some relish. Top with the pork belly and crispy skin, add some lettuce and put together. Now for the hard part: ENJOY!!!

Basic Red Sauce

This is delicious and really easy to make. Give it a try.

  • 1 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel
  • pinch of pepper
  • 8 whole large Roma tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar

In a heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, salt, spices and cook until soft. This should take approximately 5 minutes.

Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Add the tomato sauce, water and sugar in the pot and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.

Reduce the temperature to low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.




Lamb Chops

When looking through our large binder of recipes I came across this one. I can even read Don’s handwriting so that makes you the lucky one. They are really delicious and since the long cold winter is subsiding, it is just a way to start getting prepared to barbecue.

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • Couple sprigs of Rosemary leaves
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Dijon mustard for coating the ribs
  • season with sea salt and ground pepper

Cut the ribs into 2 rib portions and rub with Dijon mustard to coat.

Mix the dry ingredients and garlic together and sprinkle over the ribs to cover both sides.

Grill chops 2 minutes per side.

Using a 450 degree oven, place the ribs on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium rare.

Serve with a lovely Malbec wine, potatoes, asparagus. Having a small dish of Greek yogurt at each place setting would also be nice to dip the meat into.