I also like fresh whipped potatoes, but you can easily use leftover whipped potatoes. Make sure they are not really starchy and stuck together; you want a creamy consistency to give a smooth texture to your final dish.
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— Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ounce butter
2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into small dice
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into medium dice
1/2 lb. oyster or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. ground bison or lean beef
8 ounces roasted crushed tomatoes
8 ounces beef broth
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
4 grinds fresh black pepper
4 grinds sea salt
5 sprigs chopped fresh parsley
3 sprigs chopped fresh thyme (pull leaves)
4 cups fresh mashed potatoes
10 ounces shredded Wisconsin 4-year cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat; add butter and flour. Combine to make a nice roux and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Return pan to heat and add 1 to 2 ounces olive oil. Add onion and carrots, and saute for 3 minutes. Toss in mushrooms and continue sauteing for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Remove vegetables; add beef and cook until browned and broken up.
Stir in tomatoes; cook for 10 minutes. Add beef broth, celery salt and pepper, and return vegetables to pan; bring to a simmer. Stir in salt, parsley and thyme, then add in roux and stir constantly until thickened.
Place meat mixture in a ceramic or glass baking dish coated with olive oil.
I use a 9-by-9-inch pan, but you can use a 9-by-13-inch pan to spread out the mixture.
Combine potatoes and 5 ounces of cheddar cheese; spread the potato mixture evenly over the meat, then top with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned and bubbly.