Every year for my birthday, Schmambs makes me dinner. How is that different from every other night? For starters, I get to choose the menu. The best part about Schmambs is that she will cook anything my little Asian heart desires, even if she's never made it before. Last year was easy. We had a Thanksgiving Feast since she makes this amazing bacon turkey. This year, I had Shepherd's Pie on the mind after stumbling across a recipe for a Sweet Potato Chipotle Sheperd's Pie from the Deen Brothers (you know, Paula's boys). Not a fan of sweet potatoes, I thought it would be fun to have a traditional Shepherd's Pie. Then, since Schmambs and I have been brainstorming eggroll recipes for the fast approaching football season, we thought we would try Shepherd's Pie Eggrolls. And to make it that much better, we were going to add bacon to the mix.
Schmambs has this amazing ability to multi-task. If it were left to me, I'd probably burn the house down. This is probably why I leave all the more elaborate dishes to be made at Schmambs' rather than when I'm home alone. She had the bacon cooking while she browned the ground beef.
After the beef was browned, she drained it and mixed in some whole kernel corn and fresh chopped celery. A typical Shepherd's Pie calls for carrots, peas, and onions. Schmambs cut up an onion and tossed it in the skillet to be cooked before adding it to the beef, corn, and celery mixture. Schmambs isn't a fan of peas (I don't love 'em, but don't mind them) and I am not particularly fond of cooked carrots, so we decided to leave those out and substitute with the celery.
Once the onions were done cooking, she added them in as well.
Are you drooling yet? Remember that bacon that Schmambs had been frying? It was now time to add that crispy bacon. To ensure a piece of bacon in every bite, Schmambs chopped all the strips up before throwing it in the beef mixture. In a traditional Shepherd's Pie, the beef mixture is covered with mashed potatoes. We couldn't leave those out. Instead of slaving away at mashed potatoes from scratch, we took the shortcut and made instant mashed potatoes. We're not proud of it, but the project was already labor intense and hungry stomachs needed to be fed. And to be quite honest, they weren't all that terrible when combined with all the other ingredients and fried.
Then comes the fun part of putting the eggrolls together. Despite all the eggrolls we have made in the past, we are still trying to perfect the rolling process. Some come out too fat. Some resemble blobs more than eggrolls. The insides of the Shepherd's Pie eggrolls look a little something like this. Oh yeah, did I mention that we threw some cheese into the mix too? This cheese happened to be a Mexican blend from Jalapeno Nachos we made the other night. I would probably recommend a Cheddar cheese if you were going to try making these at home.
We used a package of eggroll wrappers and decided that we probably had enough eggrolls to feed an army and we would save the remaining mixture to make more eggrolls another night. Schmambs heat the oil up and in went the eggrolls. Pop pop pop went the oil. Sizzle sizzle sizzle went the eggrolls. Before long we had a pile of piping hot Shepherd's Pie eggrolls ready to be consumed.
A traditional Shepherd's Pie has the beef in a gravy. Since we were making it in eggroll form, we didn't want too much liquid in the filler since that gives the eggrolls more opportunities to leak when we're frying them, so we decided to dip them in gravy. Nothing hard. A package of Brown Gravy from McCormick's and call it a day. We were famished by the time we finished that I wanted to get a picture of the final product and dig in, so regretfully, I do not have a picture of the eggroll with all it's gravy goodness, but it was delicious.