Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shepard's pie

Lately, all we want to do on Sunday evenings is to eat dinner at home, open a bottle of wine, and chill... So we have been passing on simple recipes to Wanti, our helper. With simple, we mean that with just one dish, it'd fill the stomach of everyone in the house. Plus of course, it must be easy to prepare.

I taught Wanti my version of coq au vin and last Sunday, shepard's pie. Typically, shepard's pie is made with left over roast meat. Since we don't have that, we use minced beef instead.

All you need (for 3-4 pax):

- 500-600g of minced beef
- button mushrooms (chopped)
- 1-2 onions (chopped)
- 4-5 potatoes
- shredded cheddar cheese
- fresh milk (500ml)
- butter
- 1-2 cups of red wine
- Beef stock (1 cup)
(Sorry for the lack of exact figures; these are recipes I keep in my head so we usually go by estimates!)

-While you chop your mushrooms and onions, bring water to boil to cook you potatoes
- Fry the onions (olive oil or butter) till fragrant, then throw in the mushrooms
- At this stage, I toss in some wine as well
- Then throw in the mince meet and fry till it's almost cooked
- Pour in the beef stock (not everything; just add to taste)
- Fry till it's cooked, and add salt and black pepper to taste.
It's ok if you get a lot of gravy at this stage. This way your minced beef wouldn't be too dry after you take it out of the oven later.

(Mashed potatoes)
- Cook your potatoes thoroughly, and remove the skin from the potatoes
- Mash potatoes with butter and milk* till it's creamy
- Add salt and black pepper to taste
* Once again, use your discretion. Don't pour all 500ml in! It's suppose to be creamy, not watery.

(Putting it all together)
- Preheat your oven to 250 degree celsius
- Get a big pot, dish all your minced beef and spread it evenly across the bottom of the dish
- Then ladle your mashed potato on top of your minced beef evenly
- Pop it into the oven for approximately 15-20 min
- When it gets to about 10-15 min, open the oven and sprinkle cheddar cheese all over the top
(You want it cheesier, then put more!)
- Then leave it in the oven for another 5 min or until the cheese browns nicely
# # #

This is our version of the Shepard's pie, which means you can add and minus any ingredients you wish. Hate onions? Then throw in some chopped carrots, peas, tomatoes... whatever makes you happy.

And who cares if this really isn't the way the British makes it. ;) Just as long as you like it. (But on hind sight, I ought to have thrown in more vegetables. Next time!)

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