Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shepherd's Pie

Tonight we made this Shepherd's Pie recipe that I spotted on the BBC Good Food website. I liked it because it was vegetarian with a lentil based filling and it was made with sweet potato topping rather than white potato. It was really healthy and turned out delicious! I did not follow the recipe exactly. There were not enough flavoring ingredients in it. I mean, it had no garlic! I rarely make any savory type of dish without garlic, and I added 4 cloves to this one.

I was out of canned diced tomatoes, so I omitted them altogether. I had no red wine and omitted that, though it would have been a fine addition. I added a little bag of fresh English peas (six guesses who suggested that!). To punch up the taste, I put 2 tablespoons of double concentrated tomato paste, some worcestershire sauce and some smoked spanish paprika, my new obsession.

I must stop and rhapsodize about smoked Spanish paprika. Andy brought some home this weekend. He made a roasted red bell pepper soup on Saturday seasoned with the paprika. Oh. My. God. I am hooked on that stuff! Go and buy some and do it now. You'll have to search a little, but an upscale grocer or a snooty spice shop will have a good quality one. I promise, you will be hooked.

Anyway, the shepherd's pie was comforting and delicious. I will probably make it again, and the main thing I will do differently is bake the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them. Boiling them makes them much too moist. They just don't firm up enough on the top layer of the pie. They tasted great but they were too loosey goosey. The recipe yields an enormous dish--it says that it serves 4, but you could definitely spread it to 6 if you served it with something else on the side, like steamed broccoli or green beans or salad. Of course, Mr. Cleveland and I just ate a fourth of the huge casserole each! I'm sure I will enjoy the leftovers for my lunch!


pnlkotula said...

Paul loves Shepherd's pie! (And you already know the story about my not liking things to run together) However, I did want to tell you and Andy about a wonderful restaurant in Petersburg called The Brick House Run. It has a marked British-y (I mean it IS Petersburg, but the owners are Brits) menu, and we love it. We go there whenever we go to a show at the Mill. It's a little pricey, so it's definitely a treat, but we haven't had a dish we didn't love. This link goes to a picture of it:

Jacquie said...

Hey neen! You can get that spice and many others at Penzeys Spice in Carytown. Fern dragged me in there a few weeks back. It really was quite amazing...and they have free recipes throughout the store.

debra said...

Penzeys!!!! The Mecca of Spice World! There spices are really top notch. And I keep forgetting that you don't need to drool over a catalogue any more to get them. You just need to go to Carytown.
Welcome back Janine. I was missing your cooking something awful! How did the roasted red pepper soup turn out? And did Andy save you some wine? :-)

JB said...

great picture! Yummy looking!!

debra said...

I'm a mathematical 'tard. Do you just guess the grams to ounces or do you have a conversion chart in a cook book? I would have to find a conversion chart on that new-fangled internet thingee. Or open one of my own dusty cookbooks.

Janine Serresseque said...

Debra, I am a math tard as well. I do know there are 28 grams to an ounce. I have a digital kitchen scale--about 30 bucks from Target--that can be set on grams or ounces. I use so many recipes in grams, it has been a fantastic investment.

I have been to Penzey's and it's a lovely store. I bought some exquisite sage in there that we used for making stuffing. I am, however, a huge fan of the various Asian and Hispanic grocers for spice shopping. You can't beat the prices and the selection is outstanding. I really should write an entry about them. Thanks for the inspiration!