Friday, December 18, 2015

If you're hungry ....

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

While we've had an incredibly warm fall (and early winter), we've had a few days when it was frosty and I had a hankering for some good English comfort food.  I read a bunch of recipes for Shepherd's Pie and Cottage Pie and US recipes just weren't going to cut it, so I went to the BBC to find 3 different recipes--and all were quite different. I picked one and had to make some adaptations.  (Example:  Finding ground lamb around here was going to be a BIG problem, so I decided to go for Cottage Pie, which uses mince ... er, I mean hamburger.)

Over the summer I found a really cool, OLD casserole dish that I knew would be perfect for this dish.

Here're the ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery
1 cup frozen peas
1 pound hamburger
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons tomato puree or sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
16 fluid ounces of or beef stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the mashed potatoes
1½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
¼ cup milk
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk


In a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and fry the hamburger, stirring, until browned all over. While the meat is frying, break up any lumps with the back of the spoon.  Add the flour and stir. Mix well and add the thyme, Worcestershire sauce and stir. Set aside.

Boil the potatoes.

Deglaze the hamburger pan with a little stock. and saute the onions, carrots, celery, and stock. Cook until the onions and carrots are soft.  (About ten minutes).  Add the peas and the tomato sauce.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Add the cooked hamburger to the veggies and bring to a high simmer, adding a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring regularly.  Once it's all heated through, put it in the casserole dish.

For the mashed potatoes, boil the potatoes until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain, add the milk, butter and egg yolk, then mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the mashed potatoes on top, smooth over and drag a fork over the top for decoration.

Put the dish into the oven and cook until the surface is golden-brown. (About 40 minutes.)

And here's a picture of my dinner.

Serves 4 good sized portions.  Yum!  Enjoy!

What's your idea of comfort food on a COLD day???