Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shepherd’s Pie

When Marty was in elementary school, the lunch room ladies really cooked.  Marty’s favorite lunch dish was Shepherd’s Pie.  The same ladies were still cooking when I taught there many years later.  I can testify that their Shepherd’s pie was really good.  For years Marty has tried to recapture that taste.

Cook’s Illustrated sent us a recipe to test, Shepherd’s Pie. Excitement at our house. I have documented Marty’s hard work from grinding the meat to the finished product.  I did very little, I helped mash the potatoes, took pictures, drank wine, and washed a sh*t load of dishes.  I have documented the dishwashing for you. 

I took 40 pictures and narrowed them down to 16.  Remember to click on them for a larger image.


The beginning of the instructions.  You will notice they want 93%  fat free ground beef.  That you don’t find at Safeway.  That leads to  . . .


Marty cut up chuck roast (which great shopper he is, found on sale for 50% off) and put it through our meat grinder.  He knows how to figure the percentage of fat.  It has to do with weight of lean and fat.


Lots of good things go into the pie.


Marty put the potatoes through the potato cutter, that made inch wide sticks.  Then he diced the sticks.  They cooked, were mashed, and goodness added to them.


More things to chop.


Potatoes mashed, green onions and cream added to them.


Onions and mushrooms browning and building layers of flavor.


It takes a lot of dishes to make a one dish meal.  This is the second drainer full, with a large pot drying on the stove.


More added to the layers of food and flavor.  Tomato paste one addition.


Marty is adding the ground meat via an ice cream scoop.  The meat is placed on top and then after it cooks awhile, you stir it in.  Oh, that strange white block on the right, a floor to ceiling cabinet.


Almost done piping the potatoes on top of the dish.


Marty used a Ziploc bag to pipe the potatoes.  Fill it, seal, cut a corner off, and squeeze.  One less thing to wash.


Looks like the same pots and bowls.  Well, it is.  This is the fourth drainer full we washed.  Again, one dish meal.  Not really.


The dish is under the broiler.


Finished product.


Dinner is ready.

Would we make this dish again?  Yes, this time Cook’s sent us a keeper.  This was really tasty and not hard to make (because Marty made it).  The recipe says it serves four, we think it will serve six.  Next time Marty thinks he will make it in individual ramekins.

As to comparison to the school’s Shepherd’s Pie this was a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10.  This dish has more flavor that the school lunch.  But going down memory lane, not there.

1 comment:

vallerose said...

The problem with memory lane memories of food from childhood is that nothing will ever match them. As adults our taste buds are much different from when we were small. Smoking, alcohol, medications, etc. all alter the way we taste food. My father always remembered a chocolate ice-cream from his childhood. Never found one to match as an adult.
My unasked for advice - don't try to recreate the past, food wise.