Saturday, August 18, 2012

Shepherd's pie

Living in Singapore would mean that there's plenty of exposure to various kinds of food. Although rice is my main staple, I realise that as I get older, rice don't seem to appeal to me as much as before in my younger days. I used to remember about the times when I simply adore nasi padang (indonesian or malay dishes eaten with white rice). Now I hardly think about it. These days, it's about noodles, noodle type dishes, bread, potatoes, yes anything but rice. I figured it's probably I outgrown rice and on to alot more other stuff that I missed out :)

I remembered the last time I baked a shepherd's pie was a few years back when Flor came over to my place for lunch I believe. Ever since then, the sister has been bugging me to make it. And since I bought a new tray, I thought it was high time I made it once again. 

shepherd's pie-in-baking

cooked shepherd's pie

Ah yes, and did I mention that I bought the potato masher upon impulse? The moment Mr G saw me taking it to the counter, he said, so we going to have shepherd's pie soon? Well, that wasn't quite on my mind then. Oh well, since Mr G already requested for it, let's do it!

I did some research on various shepherd's pie recipes. In some parts of the world, it's called cottage pie. For some, they have plenty of LOADs of ingredients. Not sure about you, to me, a scroll list of ingredients can be daunting to me and it can stop me from wanting to make something. Yes, I'm not kidding about it. So hence, my ultimate mission to cooking or baking is, go simple or at least, find a simple yet tasty recipe. As I go along, I tweak the recipe.

Having said that, this is what I've adapted from allrecipes


500g minced chicken (you can substitute it with half minced beef and half minced pork or half minced pork and half chicken)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 big carrot, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
some flour
2 cups chicken stock or beef stock (if you are using beef or pork)
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato herb sauce (I figured this is the most important differentiating ingredient)
mixed herbs
salt for seasoning
pepper for seasoning

Ingredients for mashed potato:

1.3 kg potatoes or 1 bag of potatoes you can find in the supermarket
some milk
some butter
pinch of salt (I omitted it as I used salted butter)

  1. Wash, skin the potatoes and cut into cubes to reduce the cooking time. Then set them to boil in a saucepan over high fire for about 20-30 minutes. Once they are soft, remove from fire and mash them in a deep bowl.
  2. Add butter, milk and butter and continue to mash the potatoes until they are soft and do not appear lumpy. Do remember to add enough milk to make the mashed potatoes very soft and set aside to cool.
  3. Add some butter and brown the minced meat in a frying pan.
  4. Add chopped onions, carrots and tomatoes and continue to stir fry. Whilst you are at it, add a bit more butter.
  5. Season the mixture with mixed herbs and some pepper until browned.
  6. Add chicken broth, tomato herb sauce and worcestershire sauce into the mince mixture and simmer over small fire for about 15 minutes.
  7. When the mince mixture is boiling, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir thoroughly. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Place the mince mixture onto a shallow oven proof dish and spread mashed potatoes on top of the mince. 
  9. Brush the top of the mashed potato with melted butter and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the mash. Finally, spike the surface with a fork.
  10. Cook in a pre-heated oven for about 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown. Serve while hot.
I didn't manage to take any pictures of any of the steps. Perhaps when I next make it, I'll do that and put them in for a better visual effect.

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