People prefer their shepherd's pie in different ways, with different ingredients - I think the instinct for peas in a savory sauce comes from mothers placing them there, otherwise, why would you want it with little round globes of squishy-ness?
Wreck Beach, watching the human form of beached wales, in all their nudist glory, parading before us as we partake of some tapas.
But back to the shepherd's pie. Even without the array of spices that I would normally add (I placed my standard recipe below, not the more sparse one that I made last night), we ate comfort in a pan last night. Also refered to as 'Cottage Pie' or 'Potato Pies' (in Aussie-land), this general meal has been in use in Europe for several centuries (ever since the advent of potatoes from the 'New World' and their acceptance into the English culinary stream around the 1700s). It was a good way of using cheap ingredients, carrots and potatoes, to supplement leftover meat to create a hearty meal. Again, like any really good recipe, it was the poor that use to partake of 'cottage pie'. The English, Irish and Scottish all argue that this pie originated within their borders, but no matter where it came from, it is now loved around the world. I think of comfort, and childhood when I eat it. Never a bad thing.
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 c. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 lbs. beef (or deer)
1 c. beef stock
1 large can roma tomatoes, puréed with juice
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 c. red wine
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dried oregano
2tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried thyme
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
pinch of cloves
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 c. half and half (or 2% if you like)
2 tbsp, butter
salt, to taste
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbs. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Put potatoes in a huge pot of boiling water. Cook until soft. Remove and drain. Add half and half, butter, salt, nutmeg and Parmesan.
2. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a frying pan. Add onion and garlic and saute until brown and caramalized. Add veggies and saute until a bit soft, 3-4 mins. Add ground beef and cook about 8 minutes until most traces of pink has disappeared. Add spices, canned tomatoes and paste, worschestershire sauce, wine and stock. Simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Spread meat mix at a bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread the potatoes on top. Dust with paprika. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until brown (and bubbling enough to make your oven smoke).
4. Pray. Eat. Enjoy. Welcome a new member of the family with comforting goodness.