Dearest Gordon (Ramsay), are you trying to make me fall for British food?! I’ve got to say, since I’ve been watching some of your videos online, I’ve become quite curious about cooking at home some original dishes from England. Although British food holds quite a reputation (not the best, trust me, but you know that already…), but I’ve begun to think this is just an outdated cliché that would be worth being swept away for good now that UK’s got you as a reference Chef.
In France, if I had to name a similar dish as what you made on video, your amazing Shepherd’s Pie would be our Hachis Parmentier. But boy, now that I’ve tasted your version of this meat pie with a crust of mashed potato, I’m NEVER going back to the hachis Parmentier again!! Also, for the record, and for the sake of exactitude, the term “shepherd’s pie” is sometimes used synonymously with “cottage pie” in the US, regardless of whether the main ingredient is beef or lamb meat, whereas outside the United States the term Shepherd’s pie is only used when the meat is roast lamb. Otherwise it’s Cottage Pie. Gordon, you’ve made a Shepherd’s Pie, but here I’m gonna make a Cottage Pie today. I’ve used beef. I originally really really really wanted to call my dish a Shepherd’s Pie because I’ve heard this name so many times before and I also have fantasized about cooking one since I’ve watched your video! But I can’t, can I?… For my World Food Challenge in Europe, here is then my Cottage Pie from Northern England, UK!
Now if you, dear homecook, carefully follow the instructions, the smell that’s gonna come out of the half-hour simmering of the meat is going to fill your house with such a comforting feeling that you’re gonna want to dive right in. It would be a pity because you will then miss out on more pleasure. Indeed, your Cottage Pie is also gonna go under a 20 minutes roasting time in the oven, and that amazing smell is going to develop even further (believe me when I say so, there’s cheese on top!). Personally, I even like to add grated cheese to the mashed potato preparation. It gives more body to the mash and an interesting balance with the salt and black pepper seasoning.
What makes a great Cottage Pie in regards to the meat now? Well, it surely has something to do with the right combination of red wine and Worcestershire sauce. Those two liquids are very powerful in flavors and aromas. Besides, they prevent the meat from turning dry. After simmering, the presence of black pepper will be reinforced, so I’d advise you adjust it to taste towards the end of the cooking process if necessary, rather than all at once from the start.
- 500 grams of ground beef
- 500 grams of potatoes
- 100 ml of red wine
- a handful of leek whites
- olive oil
- black pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp of flour
- 2 large tsp of tomato paste
- 30 ml of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 liter of chicken stock or beef stock
- 80 cl milk
- 30 grams butter
- grated cheese or Parmesan
- Heat a pan with olive oil, combine raw meat with leek whites, and cook together with black pepper.
- Before it’s cooked through, mince the onion and garlic, and add them to the pan with thyme too.
- When all is cooked properly, add the 2 tbsp of flour and the tomato paste. Stir well.
- Pour 100 ml of red wine along with the 30 ml of Worcestershire sauce.
- When the liquids almost are almost evaporated, add 1/2 liter of stock. Let simmer (covered with a lid) for about 30. Cook 10 more minutes uncovered to make sure the liquids evaporate.
- In the meantime, boil the potatoes, then peel them and mash them.
- Heat 80 cl of milk and melt 30 grams of butter in it. Combine to the potatoes, salt and pepper, and adjust to taste (I add a bit of grated cheese at this point, and roughly combine it to the potatoes).
- In a casserole baking dish, display the beef in the bottom, and the mash potatoes on top. Trace lines with your fork, and sprinkle with either grated cheese of a little Parmesan cheese.
- Roast in the oven at 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes or until the top-crust looks like a crust you’d love to bite in.
- Serve warm!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2016 All Rights Reserved.