Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Shepherds Pie Surprise

I was up to the assembling stage of cooking shepherds pie tonight when Tom wandered into the kitchen pulling his pj top down over his head.

"Smashed potato! Ooo, I LOVE smashed potato! Mum, that's just the way I remember you making shepherds pie. I LOVE your shepherds pie, it's the BEST!"

"You do know it tastes different every time I make it 'cause I don't use a recipe, don't you?"

"Yes, that's what I like best about it, you never know what you're going to get!"

Here's tonight's Nanny Ogg-style non-recipe:

a bit of olive oil
4 onions
some minced garlic from a jar (I think I used 2 heaped teaspoons)
1kg lean beef mince
a few heaped dessert spoons of plain flour (can't remember, was it 3 or 4?)
1 Massel beef stockcube
2 cups hot water
a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce (about 1 tblspn?)
a few sploshes of soy sauce (sploshes are bigger than splashes, maybe 2-3 tblspns?)
more water (I think I ended up adding 2 more cups)
500g frozen peas, corn and carrots
a few shakes of dried thyme leaves
2 tblspn tomato paste
salt and pepper
1 medium potato per person (or more if you have smashed potato monsters in your house)
some butter, or not if you're avoiding the saturated fats
milk, you know, enough to make smashed potatoes

Brown the onions, garlic and mince in the oil.
Add the flour and stir until there's no white showing.
Mix stock cube and sauces in the hot water then add to pan.
Add more water a bit at a time until the gravy looks about right.
Add the frozen veg.
Taste. Hmm, needs something else. Add thyme.
Taste. Add another splash of soy sauce.
Taste. I know! Tomato paste!
Taste. Grab the pepper grinder and grind away.
Taste. Sprinkle some salt in.
Taste. Yup, that'll do.
Smash the potatoes that hubby cooked while you were doing all that tasting.
Put meat mix in a baking dish and top with smashed potatoes.
Have amusing conversation with small child.
Stick it in the oven at 180°C and go do some blogging.
When it goes nice and brown on top and bubbly around the edges - EAT

Shepherds Pie Surprise

There were second helpings all round ('cept for Caitlin) so I guess it turned out ok.


yodaobi said...

OH my god I could totally have done with some of that tonight.

purplewolf said...

can I have some please????

I loooove shepards pies. Haven't had time to make it lately.

Splock said...

That looks so good! Sue makes a mean Shepherds Pie too and I love serving it with a side of HP sauce. We're off to Warrnambool this weekend to catch up with the relatives and my cousin Denise has promised us Shepherds Pie for dinner on Saturday. You can't beat good home cooking after a road trip!

suze2000 said...


That looks great. Though on a much larger scale than I make it! I've never read a recipe for it, or if I had, I don't remember, so I put cheese in the potato too. I wonder if that's allowed? Heh. :)

Susan said...

Replace the beef with lentils and a couple of other small tweaks, and I am so at your place for dinner ;)

I whole heartedly approve of your important tasting techniques!

Anonymous said...

Awww, Tom's so sweet. :)