Monday, June 15, 2009

cowherd's pie

Here is the cowherd's pie (because it's made with beef, and cowherd's pie sounds more fun than cottage pie, which sounds lame) we ate for dinner yesterday. It looks way appetizing, doesn't it? With the brown goop everywhere? I changed horses midstream and decided to do a Rosti top instead of pommes Anna, since I yet lack a mandoline and have no jeweler's loupe to assist me in hand-slicing the potatoes.

Wow. Can you imagine the squeals of delight that met me as I plopped this on their plates?

Shepherd's pie is not a conventionally beautiful dish, but it is tremendously delicious and satisfying. The Hulk was our one holdout, obviously--he liked the top and hated the inside. And Superman, once he tried it, exclaimed, "I LOVE shepherd's pie! I wish I could eat it all the time!" That's a pretty big deal, since I vomited (like, literally vomited) on my plate the only time my mom tried to make ME eat shepherd's pie. Or was that meat loaf? Anyway, the principle is the same. They both look scary enough to put any kid off his feed.

Cowherd's Pie (you can make Shepherd's Pie by using ground lamb or goat instead of beef)
Rosti top:
2 pounds (give or take) Yukon Golds or similar potatoes

Grate the potatoes while the oil and butter are heating in a frying pan on medium high. I use about 1 T of oil and 2 T of butter. Plop the potatoes into the pan, generously salt and pepper them and let them cook until they get a nice sear on one side. Use a large plate to reverse the potato cake by holding the plate on the pan, flipping the pan onto the plate, then sliding the potato cake back into the pan, once you've added some more oil and butter. Season and sear the potatoes on the other side. I put the lid on for a while here to make sure the cake cooks through. While the potatoes are cooking you can start on the filling.

1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (or you can use 4 small heads of green garlic if you have some sitting around)
1 bunch of fresh thyme
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 lbs. ground meat
1/4 C flour
1 can diced tomatoes
Worcestershire sauce
1 C beef broth

Preheat the oven to 400*. Saute the onion, garlic, thyme, carrots and celery in a little oil in an enameled Dutch oven until they are softened but not brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the meat and brown it. Sift the flour over the meat mixture and stir it around. Then add the tomatoes, about 2 T each of the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce (give or take, you know I didn't measure it) and the broth. Simmer for a minute or two to reduce the sauce. Once the filling is done, slide the potato cake onto the filling, cover the pan, and bake for about 25 minutes. Serve hot with a side of flaccid, overcooked vegetables. It's the English way.


tipsybaker said...

You literally vomited on your plate? There were times I worried my daughter was going to do that, but it never actually happened.
That pie looks very delicious to me. I love that you switched out the mashed potatoes, which are just too gloppy.