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Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Different Take on an Old Classic

So, Mr. B and I got into a discussion about (of all things), Shepards Pie. I voiced my dislike for the sloppy, mushy mess. He stated that while he's tried several varieties, they all were lacking. He said, "based upon the ingredients, you'd think I'd like it, but I don't know why, I just don't." I thought for a few minutes about why Mr. B, my meat and potato lover, wouldn't like it. Certainly, if ingredients were the issue, meaning whomever made the pie used boxed mashed potato instead of real mashed potato, that would be a good reason not to like it. But, while that would have a flavor difference, it wouldn't change that god awful texture - it reminds me of baby food. Perhaps that was what Mr. B didn't like as well?

So, in usual Substitute Chef fashion, I set out the change our opinion on Shepards Pie. I created a deconstructed Shepards Pie - I made meatballs (with ground lamb and chicken), pan gravy (with leeks), mashed potato and steamed peas with carrots. And it was a success!

So - In addition to the meat, I added 1 egg, gluten-free bread crumbs, and ground coriander. I know that coriander is not typical in Shepards Pie, but my gut told me to go with it, and so I did. It was an awesome addition to the lamb flavor. I browned the lamb/chicken meatballs in a pan on stove top with some olive oil. Then finished them off in the oven. For the pan gravy, I used the same pan that I made the meatballs in, sauteed my leeks, then added beef stock (making sure to scrape up those nice brown bits in the pan), added mushroom and thyme and rosemary. Then I made my mashed potatoes. Seriously, I don't understand why people make the terrible boxed mashed goop. Mashed potatoes are EASY! Boil water with potato peeled, cut into small chunks. Drain water, mash potato, add some butter, milk, salt, pepper and Voila! - mashed potatoes that are awesome and creamy!

So while I don't think either of us will ever eat a regular Shepards Pie, I know we'll be eating the newest Substitute Chef creation - the deconstructed Shepards Pie many times again.

Happy Allergy-Free Eating!


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