Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day 211 - Shepherd's Pie

The box for this Shepherd’s Pie says that serving size is 2 – I believe that is accurate.  HOWEVER, the photo on the box also implies that this is going to be a delightful, hearty meal.  Thaaaat, in my humble opinion, is a stretch… 

Here is what one would EXPECT the final product to look like....
We cooked this in the oven as opposed to microwave and here is what I think –the mashed potatoes on top are way too runny.  They taste ok, but the texture is almost like instant potatoes.  They have no “form” to them, nothing to give them substance.  Because of this, the whole pie just doesn’t hold up at all.  It is a soupy mess.  And do not believe the photo on the box – there is way more potato than anything else in this dish.  In fact, this was totally reverse of the photo on the box, which had a thin layer of potato and a THICK hunk of meat and veggies.  This was POTATO and meat/veggies, not MEAT/VEGGIES and potato like the box would have you believe.

This is after cooking it but before splitting it onto plates...

See?  Runny mess with a piece of corn...  Not a lot of substance.  Far from hearty.
We used to live near a Cheesecake Factory (the one on the Plaza in Kansas City, MO).  To exercise, we would ride our bikes to the restaurant.  Then we would share one of their huge Shepherd’s Pies, then ride our bikes back home.  Let’s just say we probably burned about 1/1000th of the calories we consumed.  But this Trader Joe’s pie doesn’t hold a candle (even a birthday candle…) to the Cheesecake Factory’s version of this dish (and I am not implying that the Cheesecake Factory makes the world’s best Shepherd’s Pie, either).  

Also, the TJ’s pie has way too few veggies – would it kill them to throw a few more vegetables in there?     

Here is David’s opinion (given before he heard any of mine, so not influenced by my negativity):  “This is not very appealing visually.  The potato is a little bit too runny.  The taste is “okay”.  I would give it a 3.5.”

Granted, pairing it with a Guinness on a cold night like the sign suggests would have been better, but still...
Overall, I think this would be better in winter, but still wouldn’t be great.  I am not going to waste room in the freezer with this again.  This dish is dull and needs a lot of pepper to jazz it up.  I would give it a 2.75.  But I will average my rating with David’s to give this one the benefit of the doubt and pull the score up a bit. 

Price – $4.49

Rating – 3 (I could have rounded up, but really, that is tooooo high for this item)


  1. I had problems with the wateriness, too. But with some experimentation, I learned how to fix that. Unlike you, I liked it enough to keep trying. My review:

    1. Whew, you are a DEDICATED Shepherds Pie fan!! Good on you for keeping trying different ways until you got it just right. Maaaaybe this winter I will get another one and cook it using your method to give it another try. :)

  2. By the way, I like your style of writing/reviewing. I included your blog in my weekly list of news and other links about Trader Joe's, here:

    I'm slightly distressed to have only found you 200+ days in! I'm not sure how I missed finding you earlier, since I feel like I watch pretty diligently for TJ's-related stuff. You and I produce the only two DAILY TJ's product-review blogs, so we're like soulmates or something, y'know.

    Oh well, better late than never. And I hope that on January 1, 2016, you'll decide that it's so much fun that you'll keep going. It's not like you'll run out of stuff to write about. I'm past a year myself, and I have the next 5 months of posts already written, and I have a couple dozen TJ's items in my cupboards waiting to be tried, and I STILL see things in the store I want to try on every visit (I'm slightly obsessive-compulsive).