Friday, 24 September 2010
Well as the days get colder and the nights close in, it feels more and more right to get some warming autumnal meals on the table. And so the other night we cooked up a cracking shepherd's pie. To give it a windowsill twist we used up some of the chives and parsley that's been growing all summer to make the mash all herby and delicious.
I tend to vary my recipe for shepherd's pie each time I make it depending on what ingredients I've got in the flat at the time so here's what went in to this one. Finely chop and fry up an onion and some garlic, add diced carrots and celery and let it all cook over a low heat until all of the vegetables are soft and collapsing. Meanwhile fry the mince in a separate pan and, when browned, drain off all of the excess fat. When the vegetables have softened add thickly sliced large, flat mushrooms and cook them down as well. Stir through the mince, add a good glug of Worcestershire sauce, a tin of chopped tomatoes, some tomato puree and dried mixed herbs. Stir all of the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Place into a pyrex dish with a lid and then into an oven preheated to 180 degrees and leave it all bubbling away and the flavours mixing together whilst you get on with the mash.
Add chopped potatoes and parsnips to salted boiling water and leave them until they are soft enough to fall off a knife. Drain, reserving a small amount of the cooking liquid and mash with lots of butter, salt and pepper. Add in chopped chives and parsley and stir through.
Remove the meat from the oven and scoop the mashed potato and parsnip mix on top. Smooth it out so that it evenly covers the surface and make a nice pattern with a fork. Cover with grated Gruyere cheese and place back in the oven without the lid this time. Leave for 45 minutes and then it is ready to serve. Serve with peas. Yum!