… it really is… or at least pies are rather important part of British cooking. There’s something comforting in their nice and steamy presence. And I’m not talking about sweet pies like apple pie or cherry pie, but savoury ones – steak, sheppard’s pie, milkman’s pie or fish pie. Mr Fiance got me newest Jamie Oliver’s book for Christmas 2011 and I got pulled into the world of British food. Of course fact of constant travelling between here and there is influencing my taste as well.
Traditional Sheppard’s Pie is basically mince and mash, where mince can be beef, veal or lamb. But I didn’t want a simple mince with mash, wanted nice chunks of beef, with gravy and mash. So decided that can easily give traditional dish an upgrade. I based my recipe on Jamie Oliver’s recipe from book “Jamie’s Great Britain” but went a bit further.
Always seemed to have a thing for Britain and British food. Must be British by heart or something along the lines. Is rather unusual but true in my case. Of course especially now when I live between Poland and UK and Mr Fiance introduces me to British culture and food I feel even closer to UK then ever before.
There’s no other place like Borough Market in London, or amazing bacon, thick cut chips, crisps with vinigar and salt, tasty breaded scampies, hot cross buns with clotted cream or a pint of good cider… you know what I mean, don’t you? British food is vibrant, fun and comes from all over the place, because every expat brings something new into British culinary tradition. In Colchester a walk distance from each other are Polish deli, Chinese Deli, English Butchers and Italian Deli…
With british beef it’s enough to just give it a quick cook or roast, unfortunately polish beef is tragedy and that’s why I had to cook it under pressure so that meat would be tender and easy to bite into.
Because I chose chunks over mince, in my recipe there’s gravy to come with it, otherwise pie would be dry and not enjoyable.
Very well now the recipe.
Almost Sheppard’s Pie
1 kg good quality beef, diced
2-3 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 leek, sliced
1 can chopped tomatos
1-2 tbsp flour (for gravy)
1 kg potatos
5-6 cloves garlic
cream (sour cream or creme fraiche) about 2-3 tbsp
knob of butter or two
milk, about 200-250ml
In pressure cooker add some olive oil and toss all veggies (carrots, leek, onion) and give them a quick fry, add beef and tomatos, 1/2 can of water and put the lid on. Cook for about 45 minutes, until meat’s nice and tender.
Peel and dice potatos, add garlic cloves and boil until nice and soft, in seperate pot. When done, remove water and let steam for about 2-3 minutes. Do not turn off the heat, just reduce it and add butter, cream and milk and mash until the mash is nice and fluffy. If need be adjust amount of milk and cream. Season with salt and peper, you can add chopped spring onions or any herbs.
Open the pressure cooker and fish out the meat and veggies, place on the bottom of the casserole dish, put the juices to cook, and in seperate bowl mix flour with some of juices, then slowly mix into remaining juices, give it a quick boil, and then puree gravy with mixer. If you want more tomato taste, add 1 tbsp tomato puree. Season with salt and peper. Now spoon out the gravy, so that chunks of meat are covered but not drowning. Gravy should be nice and thick. Spoon the mash on the top and smooth the surface. Put into the preheated to 180C-200C oven and bake for 20-25mins. When done tak out from the oven and let stand for 5-10 mins before serving, which would allow the pie to be ready to serve and gravy not to be lava hot.