Vernon WadeThere are lots of cooks out there who actually know what they are doing. I pretty much taught myself to cook, out of necessity. I haven’t a clue most of the time, but I do love to eat. 

I have made everything posted here. If I can do it, you certainly can. Someday, if there is enough interest, I will gather all these recipes into a cookbook. In the meantime, in the spirit of dashes, dollops and three-fingered pinches, I present them here for you to try. Let me know what you think.

I love Shepherd’s Pie. The thick filling of meat and vegetables, topped with mounds of mashed potatoes, makes the perfect comfort food. The sound of it bubbling, the tantalizing aroma, mixing with the smoke from the coals as it leaks out from under the heavy lid of a cast iron dutch oven, provokes my appetite while it cooks. I am more than ready to eat by the time it is done.



  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • 1 – 2 pounds ground meat (beef or lamb. I used ground beef).
  •  2 cups broth (any broth will do. I used lamb broth).
  • 1 chopped onion
  • A handful of chopped mushrooms (any mushrooms will do. I used dried boletes).
  •  carrots, chopped
  •  celery, chopped
  •  2+ cloves minced garlic
  •  2 – 3 tbls flour as needed for thickening
  • Splash or two of  red wine
  •  Several tbls tomato paste
  •  Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  •  rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper to taste
  •  mashed potatoes


Make mashed potatoes. Make broth. Rinse and dice vegetables. Peel and dice onions, peel and mince garlic.


Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Brown ground meat in hot oil and remove. Sauté onions in oil used for meat. Cook until clear and beginning to to caramelize. Add minced garlic. Add vegetables, meat, and broth; cover and cook for three hours with coals above and below oven.

When the vegetables are tender, stir in wine, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Add herbs, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in flour to thicken mixture before spreading mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Cover and add more coals to lid. Cook until potatoes form a golden crust, about 30 – 45 minutes. Garnish with chopped green onion and serve.

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