Last nights dinner was Slop pie... sorry I mean Shepherds Pie. My mum always made Shepherds pie when I was a kid and used her recipe of beef bolognese sauce and added mash potato on top. I was never a huge fan of mash, my dad always says potatoes give him a headache even though we all know he just doesn't like them, where as mum, LOVES mash potatoes. To her horror I would smother the entire shepherd pie in tomato sauce (ketchup) and sit there wishing I was having pasta for dinner.
It is cold and rainy at the moment in Sydney so I wanted something that meant the oven got to stay on for a while to warm the place up but also something that was cozy and homey. Choosing from a book I haven't yet blogged about I went to trusty Jamie Oliver. I love his recipes and books! But I think you already guessed that one. I can't wait to make the honey and lavender shortbread from the book!
I thought... cold and rainy.... England is cold and rainy. (Sorry UK readers... I've only ever been to the UK in winter and thats all my mum ever says about England... She got rained out and moved to Australia and never looked back) But I do love a rainy night when you can hear the pitter patter on the roof as you drift off to sleep all rugged up in woollen blankets and sock tucked into your pants. So thats how I chose a recipe from Jamie's Great Britain. Shepherd's Pie vs Milkman's Pie. It was very different to what I would normally call a Shepherd's pie but in a good way. It was creamy and meaty with the soft mash potato on top and a surprise cheesy layer in the middle. Even better for lunch the next day reheated.
But let me explain the slop pie... this is not dissing Jamie at all. When it was time to dollop the mash potato on top I hadn't let it reduce enough so the lovely creamy dollop of mash potato started to sink into the saucy filling which was then starting to rise and flow over the edges of my pie dish. I proceeded to continue dolloping the mash on top thinking it would be ok until it started to look like an upside down shepherd's pie on the verge of over flowing if I didn't stop what I was doing and pour some of the sauce out. As I poured some out, some of the potato came out with it, I had melted stringy cheese over the edges, sauce down the side of the dish, sauce slopped and splashed over the bench.... It was a HUGE MESS. A delicious mess but still huge and a lot of washing up. Given all that I still scraped the pan to not waste any and ate it as entree while my Slop... sorry Shepherd's/Milkman's Pie was cooking in the over.
If I've got any tips.... Let it reduce properly... don't be impatient like me (I blame hunger) and get your self a dishwasher or washing up wench. My wench is still in a sling so he's only a bench wiper at the moment.
I would definitely make this again but would maybe rethink my pots and pans situation...hmmm...
Jamie Oliver's Shepherd's Pie vs Milkman's Pie from Jamie's Great Britain.serves 6
(recipe adapted slightly)
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
salt and white pepper
8 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 bay leaves (I used dry but it says fresh)
500g veal mince
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
1 lemon, zest only
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
110mL Bitter (I used VB)
800g potatoes, peeled and quarted
splash of milk
150g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
200mL pure cream
50 cheddar cheese, grated
- Fry the onions, carrots, bay leaves, thyme, some salt and pepper in a pan with the olive oil and butter until vegetables have softened. Make sure you stir often so they don't catch and burn.
- Add the veal mince and break up with a wooden spoon while browning it. Add flour once the meat is broken up and the zest of the lemon. Cook it until the liquid which came out of the meat has cooked away.
- Once it it frying again, add the bitter and just enough water to cover the meat (don't add too much here.. I think this is also where I went wrong and added maybe a little too much water). Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat and allow to simmer with the lid half on for 1 hour on a low heat.
- Meanwhile preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and boil your potatoes until soft and almost falling apart. Drain the potatoes and allow to sit for a couple of minutes so that can steam off any excess liquid. I mashed them with a hand masher with a splash of milk, a dollop of butter and a generous serving of salt and pepper. For someone who doesn't like mash... mmmm mmm yum!
- Let mash sit until your sauce has had its 1 hour cooking then add your mushrooms and cream and simmer until the sauce has thicken considerably.
- Once it is no longer swimming in sauce, pour it into a baking dish and sprinkle over the grated cheddar cheese. Dollop your mash potato on top or use a fork to squash it down and as Jamie puts it - "make squiffs and quiffs".
- Place it in the oven for about 40 minutes or until golden on top and serve with some steamed broccoli or buttered peas.
So so tasty!!