Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!
When I read this month’s challenge I was a bit worried. The truth is, I had never cooked (or eaten) Shepherd’s Pie. I don’t know why, but even though I like both ground meat AND mashed potatoes, the idea of layering them together never sounded appetising to me. I always thought it would end up being a big mess of indistinct flavours. In fact, I looked up a recipe for a “classic” Shepherd’s Pie and made half a dose of it, as I was not sure I would like it. Boy was I wrong! It was love at first bite… I so regretted making such a small amount! And my husband liked it soooo much that he did not share any of his with me!! Hahahaha Anyhow, I am going to make this again… and I am sure it will become a regular addition to our family’s menu! It’s easy to make and I think it looks so pretty, especially if served in individual oven proof dishes! I also had a blast decorating the top and taking pictures… It was a great challenge indeed and one that helped me overcome a dislike for something I had never even tasted! I felt like a 5 year old again… hahaha
Don’t forget to check out the recipe for the French Canadian version called Paté Chinois, and all the other yummy variations that my fellow Daring Cooks came up with, here.
How to make a classic and delicious Shepherd's Pie with minced lamb and creamy mashed potatoes!
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 800 gms – 1.75 lbs. minced lamb
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 250 ml – 1 cup beef stock
- 125 ml – ½ cup red wine
- 60 ml – ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 120 gms – 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 tbsp parsley coarsely chopped
- 800 gms – 1.75 lbs. potatoes coarsely chopped
- 250 ml – 1 cup heavy cream
- 100 gms – 3.5 oz. butter softened
Sauté the onion, carrot, garlic and bay leaf with the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the mince and brown it well, stirring to break up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the stock, wine and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens. After 10 minutes, add the peas and keep cooking. When the meat is ready, add the parsley and season to taste. Keep aside.
In the meantime, prepare the creamy mash. Put the potatoes in a pan and cover them with cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook them until they are tender. Drain the potatoes, rice them and return them to the pan. Add the cream and butter and stir well to combine. Season to taste.
Divide the mince mixture between four 2 cup-capacity oven proof dishes. Top with the creamy mashed potatoes (I used a piping bag to make some nice patterns but this is not compulsory).
Bake the Shepherd’s Pies in a pre-heated oven at 200°C – 390°F for about 15-20 minutes or until golden.
Serve warm with extra Worcestershire sauce on the side (optional).