Paté Chinois (shepherd’s pie) daring cooks challenge

vegetarian pies

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook!  Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!

When this month’s challenge was announced I was really excited about all the possibilities. I have made the regular shepherd’s pie or pate chinois numerous times but my kids are more fond of a chicken variable where the meat layer is replaces with a herb/mushroom/chicken combo and the top potato layers is exchanged for potato balls. I was planning on making that and also on trying a vegetarian version . My head was buzzing with ingredients  and flavor combinations to try. I made Andy’s basic pate chinois (shepherd’s pie) recipe because I really liked the addition of the creamed corn, I played around with the seasoning adding herbs and tomatoes and grated carrots to the meat leayer (inspired by the flavors in my lasagna recipe). I also made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie which was a huge hit with the kids. I sadly did not have the time to make the chicken one but I promise to post that as soon as I have a chance to make it.

Thank you Andy for a great challenge, I loved all the different choices and the possibilities and I am happy to report that the vegetarian shepherd’s pie will be in our regular recipe rotation for sure.

shepherd's pie

Shepherd’s pie recipe

1 lbs (500 g) lean ground (minced) beef

1 onions diced

1 clove garlic minced

½ teaspoon (2  gm) dry mustard powder (I used half a tablespoon of the yellow mustard)

1 tomato chopped and peeled

1 carrot chopped and grated

1 tablespoon tomato paste

salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 can of cream corn

For the potato topping

2 ½ lbs (1 kg) potatoes

½ cup (120 ml) milk

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Directions:

To prepare the potato topping

Wash potatoes and cut into quarters

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain.

Mash potatoes with butter, paprika, oregano and milk. Set aside.

To make the meat layer

Heat the oil in a pot,add onions and garlic, stir for 5 minutes until the onions become tender

Add the minced meat and stir until the meat starts changing color

Add chopped tomatoes and stir until they soften then add the tomato paste

If you feel the mix is dry (if the tomatoes you used are not juicy) add a little boiling water

Add salt, herbs and black pepper and stir

Add the grated carrots and stir for two minutes

Allow to cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes to make sure all the flavors come together.

To assemble the shepherd’s pie

Pre-heat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.

Evenly spread ground beef on the bottom of an oven proof casserole dish.

Top with cream corn.

DSC_4686

Spread mashed potatoes on top.  Use a fork to make drag marks through the potatoes for decoration.

shepherd's pie with creamed corn

Bake in oven for 15 minutes until heated through.

Place under broiler (grill) for 2-3 minutes to brown up potatoes.

Serve and enjoy

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

Store in airtight container in fridge up to 3 days.

Does not freeze well once it’s all put together, but if you make extra ground beef mixture you can freeze that on its own so that you can put together a meal quickly.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

vegetarian shepherd

Ingredients

Topping:

1 kg potatoes, unpeeled

2 tablespoons butter

1/4- 1/2 cup milk

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Salt to taste
Base:

1 cup  dried green lentils

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon (6 gm) salt

4 cups (1 litre) of water

Vegetable layer

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

Salt

2 cups crushed tomatoes

Directions:

To prepare the potato topping

Wash potatoes and cut into quarters

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain.

Mash potatoes with butter, cheese and milk and adjust the salt

This can be made up to 1 day ahead. Keep mashed potatoes covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To make the base

Add lentils, salt  and garlic to heavy saucepan.

Cover with 4 cups (1 litre) of water.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for approx 15-20 minutes

Stir occasionally

When tender but not mushy, drain.

Discard garlic
Can be made up to 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare the vegetable layer

Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until tender (5 -7 minutes)

Add the frozen peas and carrots and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, set to one side of pot

Add the tomato paste to the empty space and stir it till it is some what caramelized (it turns into a deeper color) about 5 minutes

Add the oregano, paprika salt and pepper

Add the crushed tomatoes and cook over medium heat for 10- 15 minutes

Can be made up to 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.

Assembly:

Pre-heat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.

Arrange lentils in a single layer in a large baking dish or individual ramekins

Layer mixed vegetables on top of lentils.

Top with potatoes, spread evenly over entire surface.

Place on foil lined cookie sheet as mixture may bubble over.

Bake until browned and bubbly, approximately 30 minutes.

Let stand before serving

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

  • Store in airtight container in fridge up to 3 days.
  • Does not freeze well once it’s all put together.  You can make extra sauce and freeze that for future use.
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