Comfort Cooking – Shepard’s Pie
There are few foods more comforting on a cold day than hot shepard’s pie – the rich brothy beef, mixed with chunky vegetables, and blanketed with creamy mash makes the perfect meal to curl up with on the sofa. To take advantage of the “winter” days in Hong Kong before the reemergence of humid and hot weather, I decided to make shepard’s pie for a cozy weekday dinner.
This dish may seem intimidating to make, but is really, effortlessly simple. It also freezes well, so you can always portion off leftovers in containers for that lazy day when you crave good home cooking but have no time or energy for the kitchen. (I adapted this recipe from the one on skinnytaste.com)
What you’ll need:
For the mince
- 300g minced beef
- 10 mushrooms
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 cups frozen vegetables
- 2 tbls flour
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
- 1 tbls tomato puree
For the mash
- 4 baking potatoes
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 2 tbls sour cream
- salt & pepper
First off, pre-heat the oven to 215 degrees celsius.
Slice up the mushrooms and dice the onion.
Dice the potatoes (so they cook faster) and cook them in boiling water for about 6-8 minutes until they can be mashed easily with a fork.
Once the potatoes are mashed (I used no fancy tools, just a humble fork), pour in the chicken broth and stir well.
Add 2 dollops of sour cream to the mash and stir well. Add salt to taste – I like to withhold the pepper as I want to leave the mash pristine without any flecks of black.
That was easy! Now, cover the mash with a lid to keep it warm while you work on the filling.
With a drizzle of oil, saute the minced beef with approx 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper to taste. Once browned, remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan (it saves washing up!), saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until they get slightly opaque.
Tip in the mushrooms and saute for another 2 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir well – this will bind the sauce and thicken it.
Add in the frozen veggies – I use frozen because who has time to dice all these up?
Add herbs (thyme / rosemary), beef broth, meat, Worcestershire, tabasco and tomato puree. Stir well.
Check your seasoning. This would be a good time to make any adjustments to salt & pepper. Ladle filling into a baking dish.
Smooth over mixture with the creamy mash. I like to use a fork and make swirly patterns on the top.
Pop it in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or when the top layer of potato have turned golden.