Friday, April 16, 2010

Cottage Pie… or Shepherd’s Pie…

You can name this simple yet complicated dish… on your choice of meat... according to the history if it is made out of beef it is called cottage pie if it is lamb you can call it a shepherds’ pie.

I started to make this after getting pie book as a gift and didn’t want to get rid of the book for some reason. It was a neat book because it had recipes with no crust and work great for getting something ready in a hurry. I have cooked couple of dishes from this book.
After trying the traditional cottage pie I came up with my own spices to ROCK it! (my version)

Going back to the history this is a very simple dish that is made out of minced meat and mashed potatoes. Also the term cottage pie was been used in 1791 it has a long history since the potatoes was introduced as an edible vegetable, it was cooked in cottage a modest dwelling used for rural workers. Also in early cookery books suggested using leftover roast meat… (I don’t know about this)

I know that’s me always make changes… I guess you can call it personality disorder whatever it is I can get my kids to eat carrots, peas, potatoes, and meat. My little one dines this as I have fed this since she was a baby but I have not. Older one likes it, I guess the spice blend reminds him of other food that I have made.
So here is the recipe since I have added and changed I have to type this recipe not my favorite but its O.K. Hopefully someone will give it a try…

For the crust
1 ½ pounds potatoes
¼ cup half- and –half
2 oz unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk

For the Meat filling
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
11/2 pounds minced beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon tomato paste
1 cup milk 2%
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
½ cup fresh or frozen English peas
½ teaspoon peppercorns
2-3 cardamom pods with the case
2 cloves
1 piece cinnamon may be 1- 11/2 inches long (place all these ingredients in a coffee grinder and pulse until very fine)

Peel and diced the potatoes and cooked them until tender and easily crushed with tongs about 10- 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add the egg, half-and-half, and butter. Mashed it and make sure it is all combined well add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

While potatoes are cooking make the meat filling.
In a saucepan heat the canola oil add the onions and carrots and sauté them just until they begin to take color 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Now add the minced beef and the spice blend combined well to coat the meat. Make sure the meat is browned. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and combine to coat the meat and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste and toss to coat the meat and continue to cook. Add the milk, Worcestershire sauce and bring to boil and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Add the corn and peas to the meat mix and spread evenly into a 11x7 inch glass baking pan. Top with the mashed potatoes and make a seal around the dish with mash potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes are begins to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Quote of the day “Be a shepherd – lead from behind”

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