That ain't no pie, lady!
My dear friend Kent in San Francisco has just become a fan of this blog. It would be safe to say that Kent is a man who enjoys his nosh. (He once crashed a car when he saw a sign across the road for fried chicken, and instinctively veered towards it.) We don't get to see our American friends much any more (miss you Erin, Mike, Kristen, Locknecks et al) – even less so since we all had the babies and life changed. But when we do, we always build in a good amount of gourmet experiences.
The last time that we stayed in SF, me and Kent decided to cook a meal together for all of our friends. We wanted to make it a typically British affair, and so he took me to a supermarket where they had a British aisle. It was hilarious to see what home delights could be found across the pond. Suffice to say that according to this American retailer, our nation's culinary contribution consists of Marmite, Bisto, Tetley Teabags and Lime Marmalade. But I for one was pretty happy to find the Bisto, as I made a retro jug up to serve with this Shepherds Pie.
So, Shepherds Pie. The Americans loved the name. They were expecting something a little more, well, pie like though. Of course they all thought it was hilarious tht this pie contained no shepherds and was not covered with any pastry. But it's our language, and we shall do what we like with it, I reckon!
The reason that this dish was such as success that night was that it's so easily adaptable for vegetarians or vegans. We simply made two large pots of the mince, one with 1kg best lamb mince, and one with 1kg soya mince. Here's what else we added to each pot.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peelend and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large glass good red wine
2 beef or vegetarian stock cubes
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 large glass water
1 bouquet garni
We fried off the vegetables and mince in the oil, then added all other ingredients and simmerered for 1 1/2 hours.
We boiled 2 kg potatoes and mashed with plenty of butter, milk and a little nutmeg. We poured the mince into two shallow bowls, topped with the mash, and baked in the oven for 45 minutes on a low heat.
We then served it with steamed vegetables and plenty of bisto gravy!
Posted by Kath