Happy 2013 and Shepherd's Pie

By Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New year, new beginnings! There are many things I can look forward to in 2013. I believe it would be good, and so it would be. Haha... That's me and my optimism! But if I were to add on for what I really want out of life, it would be purpose and fulfillment. And in the new year, I also hope to continue staying active - to exercise, and to take better care of self.

But I do have a few indulges. For one, I'm a fan of shepherd's pie. Think cheese, potatoes and more cheese! It's a great comfort food and this is a fantastic recipe shared by my friend. Most are made using minced beef, but mine is made using minced pork and chicken.

Preparing the Meat Sauce:
1kg of minced pork
200g of minced chicken
2 yellow onions, diced
1 bottle of tomato sauce
White cooking wine

Marinate the meat with herbs (i like rosemary), pepper, light soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch. Leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours for the flavors to develop.

When ready to cook, heat up a large pan with oil. Cook the diced onions till it's softened (ie. translucent-looking). Add in the minced chicken and pork. Keep stirring till it's cooked.

Pour in the bottle of tomato sauce, followed by some water. Make sure there's enough liquid (like the picture below). At this point, you can add in more herbs if you like. Lastly, add in some white cooking wine. This helps to impart a nice subtle flavor.  Cook for a few minutes to let the alcohol evaporate. Turn off the fire and you should have a nice meat sauce now!

Preparing the Mashed Potatoes:
8 russet potatoes 
50g salted butter, melted
100g cooking cream, heated up

I happened to have cream on hand, thus decided to use this instead of milk. One can also play around with flavors and make it creamy with the addition of sour cream / mayonnaise.

Boil the potatoes with skin on till it's cooked and very soft.
Peel the skin off and mash the potatoes up.
Add in the melted butter and cream, and stir till it's well combined with the potatoes. For a stronger taste, you can add in more salt, black pepper and herbs (i add oregano) to the mixture.

Layering the Food:
In a large oven-proof dish, place the food in the following order:
- Mashed potatoes, Cheese, Meat sauce, Mashed potatoes, Cheese

I use a mix of mozzarella cheese and red cheddar for the middle layer.

As for the mashed potatoes, I like to spread it out thinly... Why? So that I can put in more meat sauce hee...

Finally, top off with mozarella cheese.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 200C for 20 mins till the sides are browned.

In all, the above portion can fill two rectangular baking dish. That's really a lot, which I served over 2 different Christmas parties. Though it requires a bit of effort to prepare, it's so yummy I'll probably do it again in smaller quantity for my family's consumption =)

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  1. hi lala, i've never baked a shepherds pie before but if i do, i will also use chicken. All the best for 2013 and i'm going to take better care of myself too, i'm going to sleep more!!!