I love cooking for people. I love cooking generally and perhaps eating a bit too much, but the real fun is cooking for people. Especially people I hav been cooking for for many years, for those people I'm willing to experiment on, for they know my failures are worth putting up with for the things that I punt on and come off spectacularly. I'm a decent cook, but I can't replicate anything to save my life and measuring is something you do when you build a house.
Ryan and Sana have been on me to write down some of my regulars, so I've dusted off the blog to jot down one or two. Shepard's Pie is not something I cook very often, probably because I'm a traditionalist and think using lamb mince to make a Shepard's Pie should probably be a criminal offence. At least a fine anyway. Real Shepards Pie is made with the left over roast lamb, diced into decent chunks and has a ton of potato on top. Here's my recipe. I'd take these amounts with a grain of salt.
Make a batch of Maggie Beer's sour cream pastry for the base. This is the only recipe you will ever need to make a pie or quiche base. I can do it by eye now I have done it so many times. It is awesome.
Dice the lamb into chunks roughly and sweat them and a diced onion off in a pan. If you are some sort of animal that gets a lamb roast that is very lean you'll need to add a little oil or butter to sweat the onions. Remove all of that and in the pan make a roux. Add in a dash of whatever wine you are drinking while making this dish (a dash is not like a tablespoon, please remember this when you are pouring me a wine) and then some stock, about a cupful, salt and lots of pepper and mix until you have a thick sauce. A good trick is to use your roast bones to make some stock. For one pie, I'd use about 50g of butter for the roux and go from there. Add a dash of cream to loosen and then add the lamb back in mix it all up and let it cool.
Bake, blind bake or whatever takes your fancy with the pastry. I vary wildly depending on time and mood. Add your lamb and gravy mix to fill up to below the rim of the pie dish. I always try and get too much filling in and it bubbles up all over the oven. Every time.
Cover the filling with a thick layer of mashed potato. For those interested I offer a post graduate course on mash at a very fair rate. And I've learnt from some of the masters, let me tell you. A bit of Parmesan in the mash gives nice crispy bits on top. Bake in a moderate oven until it's a bit golden on the top.
A classic old school dish that deserves every bit of attention you can give it. Drink it with a red with a bit of teeth, which as I buy lots of $7 bottles of wine, is most of my collection.