Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

What I love about this house is that I can come home from work, announce "I was thinking of making a shepherd's pie," and rustle up enough sous chefs to have one on the table in an hour. (This is a speedy inspired-by-Rachael-Ray version, not a takes-three-hours Gourmet Magazine version.)

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.

0:00 -- Start water boiling for potatoes. Peel potatoes and cut into smallish chunks. Dump into the water.
0:05 -- Wash and peel vegetables for the filling. We used onions, carrots, parsnips, and turnips.
0:10 -- Vegetables start going into a pan on the stovetop as they're ready. Saute in oil (or steam, as the pan starts getting overly full).

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fish can't whistle and neither can I.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.

0:10 -- Start making the gravy. (You guys know I always delegate sauce-making projects to Jack; if he weren't around I might have used canned gravy or a can of cream of mushroom soup.) Start with a flour-butter roux, add vegetable broth, consider some cornstarch to thicken, then dress up with salt, pepper, rosemary, or other flavors to taste.
0:15 -- Fork potatoes. If tender enough to mash, drain. Let cool for a moment.
0:20 -- Mash potatoes with milk, butter, salt and pepper, or your favorite accompaniments.
0:25 -- Add frozen or canned vegetables (edamame, peas, corn) to pan of sauteed veggies. We didn't, but herbs would be good at this point, too.

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
Why does a chicken? I don't know why.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.

0:30 -- Assemble the shepherd's pie. Spoon the sauteed vegetables into a baking dish, pour the gravy over, and then spread the mashed potatoes on top.
0:35 -- Top with cheese, bread crumbs, or anything that sounds good. (We had extra-locally-grown chives, which had popped up in our backyard by surprise.)
0:40 -- Into the oven (400 degrees) for a bit to warm through and melt the cheese. (Not strictly necessary.)
0:55 -- Under the broiler to brown the top. (Also not strictly necessary.)

Et voila!

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