SHEPHERD’S PIE

Minced red meat, cooked in a sauce or gravy with onion and topped with the mashed potato before baking, yes, you have guessed it right! I am referring to a universally loved and globally acclaimed dish, ‘Shepherd’s Pie’.

Tracing its origins to England, Shepherd’s Pie recipe has many variations. Though the key ingredients remain the same, more or less, some extra flavour and ingredients being added to give it some twist. Actually, I feel, the recipe needs to be attuned to and suitably mutated to suit the palate and food habit of different states and cultures. And this is exactly what is happening in today’s world of globalization. Nowadays, no food is restricted to the place of its origin. We have welcomed different foods from different parts of the world with open arms. Thus, Pizza is possibly more popular amongst Indians and our very own chicken tikka has found its way to the heart of millions across the world!

I find preparing continental dishes far easier than our own Indian food. Nevertheless, it took me long to venture with Shepherd’s Pie as I was not very convinced with the fact that red meat and potato can make wonders. So, the first time when I prepared Shepherd’s Pie it was with ground chicken. It was much later that I tried it with minced goat meat and the appraisal and applaud I received from my guests made it my first choice for any gathering or a cozy family dinner at my place!

The recipe I follow is pretty simple and wholesome. Though the original recipe is with ground beef, I have comfortably substituted it with goat meat. Sometimes, I use minced chicken too to replace red meat. But every time the combo of meat, potato, spices and sauces make it a very presentable and enjoyable pie option.


Cuisine- Continental
Difficulty level- moderate
Preparation time- approx. 20 min
Cooking time- 20-25 min
Baking time- 15 min approx.
Serves- 4


INGREDIENTS:

  • Minced red meat- 500 gm
  • Onion- 1 medium size, peeled and chopped
  • Carrot- 1 medium size, peeled and chopped
  • Potato- 500 gm, peeled and halved
  • Garlic, chopped- 2 tbsp
  • Tomato puree- 2 tbsp
  • Tomato sauce- 2 tbsp
  • Worcestershire sauce- 2 tsp
  • Black pepper powder- 1 tsp or according to taste
  • Nutmeg powder- ¼ tsp
  • Olive oil or refined oil- 2 tbsp
  • Butter- 2 tbsp
  • Cheddar cheese- ½ cup
  • Salt- to taste

METHOD:

Boil and mash potato. Add salt and pepper. Add 1 tsp melted butter and mix well.
Put butter and oil in a wok. Add chopped garlic and sauté.
Add chopped onion and fry till it turns light brown.
Add carrot and cook for 4-5 min.
Add minced meat and mix well.
Add salt and black pepper.
Cook and cover till the meat is done, say approx. 15 min.
Add tomato puree and tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.
Add nutmeg powder.
Take a baking dish.
Put the prepared meat at the level.
Now put the mashed potato and spread well. The potato layer should cover the meat completely.
Add grated cheese.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for 15 min or till the top becomes brown.
Serve hot with dinner rolls or multigrain bread.


AUTHOR’S NOTE:

Omit butter and replace it with olive oil if calorie count bothers you. Though butter definitely adds some extra flavour to the dish.
Add a few tbsp of warm milk to the potato while mashing it. This way it will be easier to spread.
Sometimes I replace red meat with minced chicken.

The traditional English recipe slipped into the Indian kitchen without losing its authenticity. Hope you like the recipe and give it a try. Happy baking.

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