Wednesday, November 07, 2007

SHEPHERD'S PIE



Shepherd's pie used to be the favorite in the house until everyone grows out of it. This recipe makes 2 to 3 pies depending on the size of your dish. You can keep the unbaked pies in the fridge, and easily heat up in the oven, and have a quick bite.

I use 2 Kg. of potatoes 'cos we love our spuds - 1 to 1½ kg. should suffice to have a thin spread on top. We're kinda like people from Idaho, home of HP - Huge People, what are thinking? (Calling Prez. Bush! Calling Prez. Bush! I need missile shield fast... incoming Spud Missiles !)

I stay away from peas 'cos the color turns unsightly over time, and we tend to finish the lot (pies) over a few days' time.


INGREDIENTS

500 gm. Minced Beef

3 Cloves Garlic (Minced)

2 Onions (Wedges)

3 Carrots (Chunks)

1 Can Button Mushroom

1 Can Sweet Corn

½ Tsp. Basil

½ Tsp. Thyme

1 Tsp. Cajun Seasoning

1 Tbsp. Chicken Granulate

Water

Cornflour Slurry



METHOD


Cut the mushrooms (½ or ¼) to size. Fry over medium heat to sear slightly. Remove and set aside.

Fry the onion wedges until slightly soft, then add the garlic. Fry until fragrant and golden hue in color.

Put in the minced meat, spread out. Toss and turn until the color of the meat changes from pink to gray. Stir in the herbs (basil, thyme and cajun).

Add in the carrots. Fry for a couple of minutes before dropping in the fried mushrooms.

Empty the whole can of corn kennel together with its brine. Mix well.

Top the fried stuff with water; just enough to cover. Spoon in the chicken granulate.

Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Tossing (bottom up) to have the carrots cook through. The liquid will reduce by half by the time you're through. Add salt to taste if required, and finally thicken with cornflour slurry. And if you're the type who prefers flour, use it.

Scoop out onto pie trays, and spread evenly, leaving about ½ inch space for the potato spread.

Pile on the mashed potato onto pie tray.

Use a fork to scrap and flatten the mashed potato.

Do whatever fancy pattern you want to the pie top. It's ready for the oven.

Store the cooled pies (not eaten immediately) in the fridge.


Broil the pie to slightly brown the crust.

If it's cold pie from the fridge, warm up the pie at 175°C for 15 minutes. Then set to broil to brown the top.





MASHED POTATOES


The quantity of butter, milk and almost everything else used is up to your discretion.

Boil the skinned potatoes (about 2 kg.) in boiling water (covered) with 1 tablespoon of salt for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add 1 to 2 tsp. of parsley flakes or minced garlic if desire. On low heat get the garlic fragrant and slightly golden in hue before pouring into the mashed potatoes.

Drain the boiled potatoes, and mashed them while they are hot.

Drizzle in the melted butter to mix throughly.

Pour in the milk, a little at a time, while blending the potatoes to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency. About ½ to ¾ cup of milk is used. You may want to warm your milk before use.

Finally sprinkle about a teaspoon of nutmeg (optional), and salt to taste.

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As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

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