This recipe is from a friend, Vanessa, in Maryland. We had it last night as the main dish for our Christmas dinner - you know shepherds... It just seems like a good Christmas food. I also made this dish for a Harry Potter get-away that I went on with a bunch of friends to read the last Harry Potter book - I called it Mrs. Weasley's Shepherds Pie. When ever I make this yummy dish I think of that awesome weekend!
2 pounds ground beef
2 small-medium onions, chopped fine
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 packets of brown gravy mix
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
13.75 oz box Betty Crocker Potato Buds (prepared according to pkg directions)
In a large skillet brown the beef, break up the beef so there are no large lumps remaining. When most of the pink is gone, add onion and celery and cook until veggies are soft and translucent. Add peas. Let cook 3-4 minutes to thaw peas.
In a bowl mix the gravy powder with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cup hot water to gravy and stir. Stirring continuously, pour gravy over the beef, stirring until gravy thickens so it doesn't stick to bottom of pan. Add salt and pepper. Transfer beef to a 9x13 or 11x17 pan (I use the bigger pan because in a 9x13 you tend to get some of the sauce boiling over).
Prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions, carefully spread over the beef as you would a thick layer of frosting. Dust lightly with paprika to give it a nice color. Cover loosely with foil (I spray the foil with Pam so it doesn't stick to the mashed potatoes) and bake in a 350 degree oven until warmed through - about 25 minutes.