Shepherd's Pie or Cottage Pie
 >> Saute beef, onion, celery and garlic in a large pan until well done. Strain off fat. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash with butter. Blanch carrots and add to beef mixture. Make a gravy with beef base and water. Whisk in enough flour to thicken, about 2 tablespoons. When gravy comes to a boil, add beef and carrot mixture, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
 >> Spoon meat mixture into a 2 quart casserole. Spoon potatoes on top. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, slightly brown. Top with cheese and let sit until cheese melts from the radiated heat, about 5 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8
Shepherd's Pie - Cottage Pie

1 lb/500g Top Sirloin (slice - cube very fine)
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary needles, chopped
9 fl oz/ 250ml red wine
10 fl oz/200ml beef stock
2 oz/60g washed and sliced button mushrooms
2 oz/60g frozen peas
instant gravy granules or powder

2 lbs/1kg Desirée potatoes, peeled and cut
      into chunks
2 oz/60g butter
2 egg yolks
Parmesan, grated
salt and black pepper

For this Shepherd's Pie (OK, Cottage Pie)
    recipe you will need a baking dish, about
    7" (19cm) square and 2" (5cm) deep
Using minced BEEF instead of lamb... is what is known as Cottage Pie!
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• Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Add the chopped onion, garlic and carrot and fry over a medium heat for 3 minutes until soft.
• Finely dice and add the Sirloin to the pan and fry over a high heat for 4 minutes stir frequently. Season with salt and black pepper; Remove from the heat, drain any liquid.
• Return the pan to the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and fresh herbs. Continue to cook for 2 minutes before adding the red wine and stock. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
• Finally add the sliced mushrooms and peas, bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes before thickening with gravy granules or powder to the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Allow to cool while you prepare the topping.
• Cover the potatoes with cold water, season with salt and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a steady simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for about 20 minutes until completely tender.
• Using a colander, drain the potatoes and then add back to the hot pan, cover with a lid and leave to dry out completely for about a minute over a low heat.
• Now mash the potatoes using a masher (don't over mashed and leave a little texture). Add the butter and season generously with salt and black pepper. Beat in the egg yolks and about 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan.
Now to assemble this wonderful Shepherd's Pie (OOPPS, 'Cottage Pie') recipe........
• Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C
• Spoon the mince (Beef Filling) into the baking dish and then carefully start to pile the mash (in small amounts) over the top. Once the mince is largely covered, spread the mash evenly and then rough it up with a fork. Finally grate some extra Parmesan over the top.
Note: if you're not planning to cook the pie straight away, allow to cool completely before covering loosely with cling wrap and refrigerating.
• Place the dish onto a baking tray and bake in the oven near the top for about 25 minutes until the potato topping is crusty and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
      Serves 6
Black Labrador Shepherds Pie

2 lbs Ground Chuck
2/3 Cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 Cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs potatoes, peeled
4 tbs butter
2 carrots, sliced
2 oz (about 2 1/2 tbs) beef base
1 Cups water
2 tbs flour
1 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese
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September 2012