Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Family dinners - Shepherds Pie

Now that I've confessed my cooking sins and told you all about my obsession with Jamie Oliver - I have another obsession confession - Donna Hay!! I love all her books, I probably have all her magazines, especially all the kids issues. B stopped by Donna's shop when she was last in Sydney and sent me a picture and said "Guess where I am?". She at least got me some cupcake wrappers - thanks B! I've even managed to convert the tuckshop convener at our school to add some of Donna's recipes to the tuckshop menu.

The books are easy to follow and have some very yummy recipes, both a 'must' for busy families. Even if you want to impress your dinner guests by simply adding something special to your table decorations these magazines and books have it all. I guess they don't call her the queen of styling for nothing.

I'm working my way through "Modern Classics Book 1" at the moment and I have a few pages that are stuck together already. This book has soups, salads, vegetables, roasts, pasta, rice, pies and tarts but there are no desserts in this book.

The Shepherds Pie I made is very flavoursome. I think the flavour of the peas and that hint of bay leaf and thyme make it even tastier or richer. I have even made them into small pies for the three munchkins, but either way they love it (even with the carrots and peas hiding in it!). This is true family comfort food!

Shepherd's pie 
Donna Hay - Modern Classics Book 1 - page 158

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
600g lamb or beef mince
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400g can peeled tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Potato mash
1 kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
75g butter
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (375F). Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the oil, onion and carrot for 5 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the mince and cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Stir through the tomato paste, tomatoes, stock, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and simmer, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the salt and pepper and set aside.

To make the mash, boil the potatoes in the water until soft. Drain and mash with the butter and milk then stir through the Parmesan.
Spoon the meat mixture into a 4 cup capacity ovenproof dish. Top with the mash and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 4-6

Enjoy M xx

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