Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Alton Brown's Shepard's Pie

Back to New Orleans, my second day there after a long day of work a group of us decided to venture out and see some more parades.  The parade we were waiting for ended up taking so long to come that most of us decided we needed to seek out some food and my boss had the best idea of going to Yuki Izakaya.  This was a little place with lots of character and luckily there was room enough for our group to eat.  The beef tongue was unreal and so tender which is not how a lot of places serve it. We also had lots and lots of salmon belly which was superb. The seaweed salad tasted super fresh and perfectly seasoned. And lets not forget the delicious tuna (all pictured below).  While we were eating the parade finally caught up with us and we kept running outside to catch glimpses, it was pretty entertaining.  Once we were done with this fabulous meal we again ventured over to Bourbon Street for the newbies to experience.  We also stopped at the oldest bar in New Orleans called Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar.  It was pretty cool inside and very crowded so we only stayed for one drink and then headed back to the hotel for the night.  Last week I adapted this recipe and the friends we had over for dinner loved it.  Perfect meal for a cold night, enjoy!

Serves 8

The Ingredients

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 ounces butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
3 tablespoons creamy horseradish

For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

The Process
1.  Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

2.  Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk, Parmesan, and horseradish until well combined.

3.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

4.  While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine.

5.  Add the beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

6.  Add the corn and peas to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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