December 14th, 2007


Shepherd's Pie

We were invited to Shabbat dinner tonight, which meant I had to think about lunch. Normally, my Shabbat lunch is some version of Shabbat dinner, reheated in a halachically correct way, but no dinner makes that hard.

I could have made half a Shabbat dinner - chicken, kugel, veg - and served that as usual, but. No.

Instead, I made shepherd's pie - or my version of it. It's certainly not authentic, what with the general lack of lamb or mutton.

The filling:

1 pound of ground beef - I like using half chuck and half shoulder so I get a good balance of fat and lean.
One bermuda onion
One red pepper
Pepper, bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, water

I brown the ground beef with a touch of black pepper and put it in a strainer to get rid of any extra fat. Then I sauté the chopped onion and pepper until soft, adding salt, black pepper and vinegar, plus water to make sure it doesn't burn. When the vegetables are cooked and most of the liquid is gone, I combine the two.

The crust:

I cheat here. I take a pound or so of white skin potatoes, and cut them into eighths or so - very small. I do NOT peel them. Then I put them in a microwave safe bowl with about a cup of water plus some salt and pepper, cover them and microwave on HIGH for ten minutes. I let them cool a bit and then I mash them, adding water (preferably but not necessariy hot) if necessary, plus additional salt and pepper.

Notice - no margarine and no soy milk. Just water. This is actually the way I make my mashed potatoes normally, except I might add a couple cloves of garlic in with the potatoes. White skin potatoes cook up very creamy and I find I do not miss the fat at all.

I give the potatoes a final beating with a fork.

I put the meat/veggie mixture into a casserole and cover the top with the potatoes. Tomorrow, it goes into the oven I will leave on over night (except for the timer that will shut it off around midnight and on around 9AM) and will be warm for lunch.