Well, my kids finally returned from Japan this past Monday; they had been gone for over three weeks. Believe me, I didn’t like it ONE bit. Worst part of it was my ex prevented me from emailing with them for longer than the last two weeks of their stay. What kind of parent would do that, I ask? There are some other irritating things about this trip – like her postponing applying for the Little Cake Boss’ passport until the last minute. They finally picked it up from the Federal Building in Westwood two working days before their departure in late July. No kidding.
But they are back albeit badly jet lagged; they went back to their mom’s today after a groggy week with me. I had asked them what they would like to eat their second night back now that they are home and Jack immediately, said, “Shepherd’s Pie!” So Shepherd’s Pie it was.
As a couple of my friends have asked me to provide them with the recipe, I thought I’d take a break from writing about my Leyte pilgrimage. The pilgrimage was emotionally draining; it still is weighing on my heart, especially when I write about it for my family’s sake.
The recipe is quite easy. I use Rachael Ray’s recipe for this one instead of my standby cooking bible, Cook’s Illustrated. Besides, she’s as cute as a button. (Did you know some “pro” chefs on TV don’t think she should be showing people how to cook?)
The ingredients are:
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 3/4 pounds ground beef (lean preferred for me)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it
1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into slightly mashed potatoes then mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together two minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy one minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.
Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.