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Jackie Kennedy’s Dinner Pie

Jacqueline Kennedy was known for her gracious hosting, that was part of her impetus to redecorate the White House and make it more comfortable for anyone who visited. She was also the queen of glamour at events of international importance, donning strapless gowns while rubbing elbows with dignitaries and leaders from across the globe. As chic as she was she also had a very homey side and enjoyed serving hearty dishes from time to time.

While Jackie favored French cooking for entertaining and calorie-conscious food for meals alone, her husband loved creamy dishes and was fond of many comfort foods. So, this explains how her “dinner pie” has come to be one of her more widely-known dishes.

Kennedy family relaxing
Via: Cecil Stoughten/US National Archives

It’s very much like an English shepherd’s pie, but technically only lamb can go into that particular dish. Cottage pie is when you use beef – as this dish does. But, this recipe also calls for a few things that aren’t in any cottage pie recipe. So, I’d say she made this recipe all her own.

Jackie Kennedy’s Dinner Pie

To start with the meat layer has an all-American slant to it with corn and bbq sauce added for a little interest. It might sound unusual for a cottage pie, but it’s so full of flavor.

When prepared this way the meat takes on a little of that sweet-smokey flavor and it turns out to be a perfect counter to the rich and creamy potato topping.

Jackie Kennedy’s Dinner Pie

The topping is more than mere mashed potatoes and gets its snow white appearance from a special ingredient- cream cheese.

For a perfectly golden brown top and even more flavor some shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled over the potatoes is the final touch that makes this dish extra special.

Jackie Kennedy’s Dinner Pie

If all of this together is sounding like a lot then you’re going to have to trust me that it comes together beautifully in the pan. The finished dish is flavorful and hearty, with just the right level of seasoning.

Jackie Kennedy’s Dinner Pie

It’s creamy on top and rich and meaty on the bottom. I can see how President Kennedy could have been awfully fond of a dish as comforting and tasty as this one!

Serves 8-10

25m prep time

1h 1m cook time

38 calories

4.9
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Rated by 10 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Corn

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Ingredients
  • 2-3 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 3/4 cup bbq sauce
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or cream
  • pinch white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Set potatoes in large pot of boiling water. Cook until fork tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. While potatoes cook, heat skillet over medium heat. Add beef and onions and cook until beef is browned about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add corn and bbq sauce to beef. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Mash potatoes with cream cheese, butter, salt, black pepper, white pepper, and milk or cream..
  5. Pour beef mixture into 9”x13” baking dish and top with potatoes in even layer. Top with cheese and bake for 25-35 minutes or until cheese is browned around edges of pan.

Recipe adapted from Command Cooking.