Tuesday, December 21, 2010

recipe: alton brown's shepherds pie

my hangover on sunday left me craving chinese food and comfort food. since i was too lazy to leave the house (it's cold!) in the evening to get pork fried rice i decided to whip up a version of alton brown's shepherds pie. it gave me an excuse to make my ultimate mashed potatoes recipe and use my kitchen aid mixer so i didn't mind the work. it was delicious.

mashed potatoes ingredients:
  • 1 bag of red potatoes
  • two heaping spoonfuls of cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • about 1/2 cup milk
  • three heaping spoonfuls of sour cream
  • a few dashes of garlic salt
meat ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (i used olive oil)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen english peas


preheat oven to 400 degrees.

boil a big pot of water and drop in cleaned potatoes. drain once a fork slides in easily, about 20 minutes. place into mixing bowl with all ingredients and "mash" with the mixer until smooth. tip: if you want them to boil faster, chop potatoes into chunks before boiling.

while the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. add the garlic and stir to combine. add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. add the tomato paste, chicken broth, worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

add the corn and peas to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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