HAVING REALIZED that my baking tray may be used as a tub for home-cooked food, as well as something to hold up industrial lasagne etc in reheating, I have been fantasizing all week about making my own beef shepherd's pie (cottage pie). The difference from the illustration will be that mine will be a beef pie covered in cheese and potato not pastry and so will have chunks of beef, not ground up piggles.
I've never done shepherd's pie in my life (can't remember whether we ever did it at school, though it's a typical school recipe) but my recipe was going to go something like this.
About 500g-1kg (1-2lb) stewing steak diced small
About 500g-1kg potatoes
One or two large onions
One or two large carrots
About 250g (0.5lb) mushrooms
About 100g 0.25lb) cheese
Broccoli to eat separately
Method: fry steak lightly for five minutes or so to "brown" (even though it goes grey not brown) and "seal in flavour" or whatever this is supposed to do. I'm quite sure that skipping this step makes no difference but have never dared do it as would hate to waste food. When done tip into large saucepan and continue simmering in a little water on low heat. Dice mushrooms and add to this. (Doesn't water come out of the mushrooms at some point? That's what I seem to recall occurring...) Fry onions.
At end of frying add seasoning which would be something like 4 teaspoons paprika, 2 tsps mild curry powder (Jamaican, Chinese, Garam Masala or mild Indian), 1 tsp "all purpose seasoning" (glorified celery salt), half to one tsp ginger, 1 tsp mediterranean or Italian mixed herbs, 4-8 tsps Lee & Perrins to taste, about 4 tsps soy sauce (makes excellent gravy browner), possibly one Oxo cube and/or 1 or 2 tsps Bisto-style gravy granules. Add all together including most of the fried onions into main pan and simmer fairly lightly for 2 hours, covered, adding more water if required but not too much or the pie will be ridiculously sloppy. Dice and add the carrot(s).
After 2 hours peel, chop up and boil potatoes. Mash, adding the saved fried onions to the potato. Add a little butter to the mash but not too much (I much prefer dry "natural" mash to over milky/buttery "creamed" potatoes). Preheat the oven to about 190C 350F(?) Gas mark 6.
Checking the pie-mix pan, boil off any excess water by removing lid and keeping on heat.
Now turf the piemix into the baking tin, covering carefully with potato mash. Sprinkle liberally with cheese and pepper the top. Bung in middle of oven for half an hour.
Boil the side order of broccoli.
Remove and eat!
I'll let you know how horrible it turns out when I risk making it...
There's no big news as I've stashed at home all week feeling not like doing anything. Those pills are not working yet, I am sure of it. Though it is "early days"...
I have cut down on my alcohol drinking as it was starting to get ridiculous at points (more then 6 cans a day at peak, which would be about 10 pints of pub-strength beer). Now I have got down to as little as one a day. I don't want to have to feel panicky at the thought of not drinking, I have enough problems with chemical dependency as it is!!
Can antidepressants actually make you feel worse? I feel dragged right down.. down.. down.
...The Germany Bible reading is coming on in fits and starts...
And that's about it!
Rolling Stones ~ You Can't Always Get What You Want from Rock and Roll Circus
Science Lab ~ Flesh and Blood
Tekno with Shakespearean quotations!
from Raymi the Minx blog
~ a glimpse into someone else's boring old life for a change ~
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