It's my birthday and it's KJ's birthday too !!! So on KJ's birthday it was a cozy evening with great company, good music and some comforting food. The spread included Chicken Stroganoff, some homemade Dinner Rolls, Aubergine Parmesiana, Greek Orzo Salad and Shepherd's Pie. And of course Chocolate Truffle Cake for dessert.
To my surprise the star of the spread turned out to be the Shepherd's Pie while the chocolate truffle was a close contender :-))
Shepherd's Pie - a great British classic is a little different from other meat pies. Also known as Cottage Pie, it is a pastry less or base-less pie.
While lamb mince is used in the classic English Shepherd's Pie, in parts of America beef mince is also used to make this pie.
The top layer of the pie is a golden crust of mashed potatoes. :-)
It's just the thing you want on a wet rainy night with some warm dinner rolls. The perfect comfort food. It's juicy, its scrumptious and its easy to cook. It wins hearts :-)
500g Lamb Mince
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 stalks of Celery - chopped finely
1 large Onion
2 Carrots - diced finely
1 clove of Garlic
400ml of Tomato Puree
Fresh or dried Thyme
Fresh or dried Rosemary
300 ml of Chicken Stalk
Salt to taste
For the crust
8-10 boiled Potatoes
150 ml of Milk
1 tbsp Butter
1. Heat oil in a deep pan.
2. Add the onions and garlic and saute` till they sweat.
3. Now add the celery and carrots and saute` further for 5 minutes.
4. Add the mince to the sauted onions-garlic-celery-carrot. Stir and mix well to break down the mince and to make sure there are no lumps. Soon you will see the meat will start leaving its own water. Keep frying till the water dries out. This may take upto 15-20 minutes. As the water starts drying out, the mince will ooze its own fat. Keep roasting the mince in its own fat. You should be able to hear a crackle, that's when the meat and onions start to caramelise a bit. This is important because this is what imparts the flavour. Carry on roasting....As Marco Pierre White says give it that extra 7-10 minutes of roasting. Here the technique is more important than the recipe. You can always adjust the proportions of the ingredients as per your liking.
5. Add the worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
6. Add the tomato puree. Mix well and let it cook while stirring continuously for about 5 minutes.
7. Add the chicken stock.
8. Season with salt and grate one nutmeg. Also add the rosemary and thyme. Give it s good stir and cook on simmer till the consistency is a bit liquidy but not runny. And not not dry as well.
9. While the mince is cooking on sim, prepare the potatoes. In a food processor, add the potatoes, egg, milk, cheese and salt to taste. Give it a good whisk.
10. Remove the mince from the flame and let it cool a bit.
11. Transfer in a ceramic or glass pie dish. Smoothen the top and layer with with the mash potatoes and dot it with butter ( for a nice golden crust).
12. Bake in a preheated oven at about 220 degree C for about 20-30 minutes till the crust gets a lovely golden brown.
13. Serve warm with breads of your choice.
Happy Cooking !!