Saturday, November 7, 2009

SHEPHERD'S PIE


Anyone who has been recently reading this blog recently will realise cooking has been taking a bit of a back seat over the past few weeks. So on Friday night I was determined to cook my poor long suffering, and very understanding husband a proper supper on his return from work. Nothing would stand in my way.

One of his favourite dishes is SHEPHERD'S PIE. So this is what I would be cooking for him. It would be sure to make him happy. A good start to the weekend. As turnip, if you are in Scotland, swede, if you are in England, is one of his favourite vegetables I would serve this alongside. I was pulling out all the stops.

I have made this so often I have no need to turn to a recipe. It is so simple to make and prepared ahead of time means it can be reheated whenever you are ready to eat. I like dishes with no last minute preparations. There would be time to sit down with a Friday night cocktail while the oven did the work, and discuss our weekend plans. I love a Friday night. They are meant for relaxing after a busy week.

Glad to say it all went according to plan. No missing ingredients, no faulty equipment just a huge sense of relief on my part knowing that I could still manage to put a satisfying meal on the table. I was feeling good. As I don't really follow a recipe for this I have done my best to give you all the ingredients and instructions. You can of course use whatever vegetables you have to hand.

SHEPHERDS PIE (serve6)

500g (1lb) minced beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 large carrot
beef stock
handful frozen peas (optional)
salt & pepper
worcester sauce, a few shakes.

4 large potatoes (peeled and chopped)
1/4 cup milk
knob of butter
1 egg

First soften the onion and carrot in some olive oil.
When soft add the minced beef and stir until browned all over. Add salt and pepper and a few shakes of worcester sauce to taste.
Add beef stock to cover. Put on a lid and leave to simmer for about 30 mins.
Add the peas, stir through and turn up heat until it bubbles. Check again for seasoning adding more if necessary.
Put in into an ovenproof dish and leave to cool.

Boil potatoes in salted water.
Drain and pour over warm milk and butter. Mash until smooth.
Add egg and quickly beat into the potato. This will make a nice brown topping on the potato when it comes out of the oven.

I find it easier to add the warm potato mixture to the mince base once it has gone cold. It makes for a smoother covering.

Leave to cool in the fridge and before serving heat the oven to 190c (375f). Heat for 45 mins until you can see the bottom starting to bubble up through the potato topping.

As I pulled the dish from the oven and was able to smell the wonderful aroma coming up to meet me I felt a sense of achievement. I was back.


4 comments:

Coby said...

Good old meat and potatoes - the way to so many male hearts:) Having said that, I love it too:) I am surprised to hear that turnip is a favourite veg - THAT is uncommon:) How did you cook and serve that please Jacqui?

PS, so glad to find you cooking!!:D

Jacqui said...

I just boil the turnip as I would potatoes and mash with some butter and black peper/ Sometimes I mix it half and half with potato and use that as a topping.

Sallie said...

Oh Jacqui! I can just see the happy look on Robin's face when you served this - Shepherd's Pie is one of James' absolute favorite meals, too! Mine is almost exactly like yours, but we do a layer of corn as well under the potatoes (half creamed corn and half regular corn). I am sure you both enjoyed the meal very much! Looking forward to the next entry (and would love if you would blog more about your soups - James STILL talks about the sweet potato soup you made for him for lunch one day!)

Sallie said...

Jacqui....I have been really missing your posts. Hope all is well - hope to see you posting soon about your holiday recipes!