Thursday, 28 November 2013

Comfort food at its best

This British classic is comfort food at its best. The way mash always is. It wraps its arms around you, placing a soothing kiss on your forehead and promises that tomorrow everything will be better again. Shepherd's pie, ladies and gentlemen. A meaty version of the fish pie

As simple as the ingredients really are, the combination is still too complicated for my legendarily fussy Niece and Nephew. "Did you see that? She put carrots into it. Carrots! Who does she think she is?!" Yeah... but that's what traditionally goes into this. Depending on the gastronomic limitations of the diners you could hide other veggies into this too. In order to smuggle a bit more nutrients into the mix you could also substitute some of the potatos with other root veggies or pureed white beans.

Traditionally the dish is made with minced lamb, but of course you can make it using any mince you can get hold of. In that case it just isn't shepherd's pie as The Gentleman never tires of pointing out...

I pimped my lamb mince with some cranberry gelée seeing how well it worked with lamb tongue and reindeer burgers too!

Serves 4-6

The mince:

500 g (lamb) mince
2 onions
2 carrots
2 large garlic cloves
a couple of dl strong stock (game if you have some)
1 heaped tsp ground cloves
6 allspice peppers
salt, black pepper
1 generous tbsp cranberry gelée (lingonberry jelly would probably work too)

The mash:

1 kg potatos
200 g butter
2 egg yolks
salt, white pepper
a big pinch of cumin seeds
(hot) milk

Peel the carrots and cut into small cubes. Peel and chop the onions finely and sauté them in a bit of oil. Add mice and brown it. Then add carrots, stock, cranberry gelée and cloves. Cook over moderate heat, covered, until the carrots have softened. Stir every now and then to make sure it doesn't burn and add more stock as needed. Season and spread on the bottom of an oven-proof dish. 

Peel and steam/ boil potatos until done. Mash them with butter and add milk if needed. Once its cooled a bit add yolks. Add milk if needed for the right consistency and season. Spoon over the mince- For a smooth finish use the back of a spoon dipped in hot milk. If you want, decorate with either a piping bag or fork. 

Bake at 200° until nicely browned.





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