I just can't leave well enough alone. For several years I've toyed with Lauren's favorite dish and now, well let's just say it's not her favorite anymore. In an effort to maintain peace and harmony, I make a small one one the side her way.
Smoky Mountain Shepherd's Pie -
Place 2 lbs. of potatoes in a pot, cover the potatoes with water, salt the water when it comes up to a boil and boil potatoes for about 15 minutes, until tender.
Heat a skillet with high sides over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and four strips of smokey bacon, chopped. When bacon is crisp, remove and drain on paper towel lined plate.
Add 1-1/2 lbs. of ground sirloin to the pan and completely brown. The sirloin will pick up the smoky taste of the bacon.
Add 1/2 lb. of sliced baby bella mushrooms and 1 chopped onion to pan and cook until tender, about 7 more minutes and then season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While sirloin is cooking, heat a small sauce pot over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then whisk in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (roux). Continuously stir the roux for about 5 minutes and then whisk in 1-1/2 cups of beef stock, one-half cup at a time.
Once the beef stock is thoroughly combined, add 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire and season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer to thicken, about 5 minutes.
Pour gravy over meat and combine. Turn on the oven broiler.
Place drained potatoes back into the pot and mash them. Fold in 3 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 cup of shredded cheddar, 1/2 cup of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and 4 chopped scallions.
Spread the meat in a buttered casserole dish and spread the potatoes across the top of the meat in an even layer.
Garnish the potatoes with paprika, shredded cheddar and shredded Monterrey Jack. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes and then place under the broiler to crisp and brown the potatoes.
Crumble reserved bacon over top. I just now noticed I forgot to take a picture with the bacon garnishing the top.