Two Brown Girls

Two brown girls, two countries, and two kitchens in which to play!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Last Hurrah!

Hurrah! Hurrah! We had a Last Hurrah for a few of our friends last night. In an effort to combat the cold that seeps into my building at night, I wanted to make something stick-to-your-bones-ish. I also needed to use up the groceries I have left before I move yet again next week. Settling on Shepard's Pie but lacking a functioning oven, I improvised!

The menu was "Deconstructed Shepard's Pie" and "Homemade Minestrone."

The Shepard's pie was by far the favourite, so here's a rough outline of the recipe.

Deconstructed Shepard's Pie (a recipe on the fly!)
Mincemeat "filling"
4 parts Minced beef/lamb/other red meat
1 part Chopped Onions
1 part Chopped Celery
1 part Frozen Peas
1 part Sliced Carrots
2 parts Diced Mushrooms
Half a standard tin diced tomatoes (w/ juice)
Olive oil
Cayenne Pepper
Fresh Thyme
Sea Salt
Tater "topping"
4 Large Potatoes
Unsalted Butter
Whole Milk
Sea Salt
Pecorino Romano (grated)
Parmesan (grated)
For the mince:
Heat oil (about 3 tblspoons?) in a large sauté pan. Add chopped garlic. Add onions. When slightly cooked add mincemeat. Fry briefly (about 2-3 mins). Add all veggies. Add generous amounts of fresh thyme, about a pinch of cinnamon (I just gave the bottle a quick shake -- not too much!), paprika (I used quite a lot, maybe 1.5 tsps?), and a bit of cayenne to give it some kick. When it seems like the meat has cooked mostly/the veggies start to soften a bit, add the tomatoes including juice. Let it continue cooking until the juice pretty much is gone and all the meat is cooked. Add a bit of salt at the end, but not a lot, as the potatoes will have most of the salty-flavoring.
For the potatoes:
Boil water in a pot big enough to hold the potatoes. Add potatoes in their skins. Cover and cook til the skins start to come off. Remove from pot. Run under cold water to cool a bit. Remove skins (should be easy if they've been cooked enough). Put potatoes (sans skins) into a large bowl. Begin to mash vigorously with a fork. Add a knob of butter, some whole milk, some pecorino romano, some Parmesan, and (lastly, because the cheese has a fair bit of salt) taste and then add salt as necessary.

Serve together with brown sauce, ketchup, sriracha hot sauce, etc.

Mmmmm. Deconstructed Pie.

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