Cheaper Shepherd's Pie

Ah, no pictures! I apologize in advance.

Now, my ideal shepherd's pie starts with leftover roast beef mixed with hamburger and some gravy from the roast juices. This is rare for me to have, since we rarely have roast beef anymore.  So I've learned to settle for hamburger and a dash of gravy mix.  I usually use a whole pound of ground hamburger for this. Not bad, but I'm trying to stretch the meat even further. I've made a few batches with just 1/2lb beef, they were small and just barely enough for the three of us (nights when the husband wasn't home for dinner). This last time, however, I was very hungry and Mr. Thrifty was home.  I thought I'd try something different.

First layer:
Brown 1/2lb beef and chopped onions, drain fat, add gravy (or dry gravy mix, or add a small glob of concentrated beef bouillon with water and corn starch).  Now, here's the secret I discovered! Mix in cooked lentils! I mixed in about 1 cup of cooked lentils.  I made a little extra gravy to keep the layer tasting pretty beefy.

Layer 2:
Open 1 can corn niblets and 1 can creamed corn. Spread half of each on top of the beef (put remaining halves in a container and freeze for next time)!

Layer 3:
Mashed potatoes, top with some shredded cheese. I usually use moz, but cheddar (especially aged) is good, too.

I fit all this in a round pyrex dish (9-inches, I think).  The lentils add healthy fill and with all the beefy gravy, you'd hardly notice the difference.

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