Shepherd’s Pie with a Totty Top

1 teaspoon vegetable or peanut oil
1 pound ground beef (or lamb)
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with juices
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
About 1 pound frozen tots (depending on the size of your baking dishes)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until it is browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the onion and carrots to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, corn, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and thyme and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pan, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until flavors have melded and the mixture thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.

Pour the beef mixture into an 11-by-7-inch casserole dish or divide it among 5 or 6 individual baking dishes. Top the beef mixture with tots, covering it evenly and making sure the tots don’t sink too far into the dish. Bake until the tots are golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Dan Whalen’s Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie cookbook.