It's likely that I am the last person on Earth to read the Harry Potter series, but I'm finally getting around to it, and am actually finding the books to be kind of exciting. So last night in an effort to embrace my budding Potter-inspired nerdiness, my lover and I decided to watch The Chamber of Secrets while indulging in a few recipes from the HP cookbook. We decided to make only dishes that were featured in the second book, which corny as it sounds, was actually pretty awesome. We made Treacle Pudding and Shepherd's Pie. Now, I assume that everyone who lives in the United States has eaten Shepherd's Pie at least once, but I can almost guarantee that you've never had it like this before! It's a bit more work than the traditional beef-corn-potato dish, but the extra effort is well worth it!
If you want to take the easy way out and use instant potatoes, go ahead, but it definitely won't taste the same. However, as someone who believes in eating home-cooked meals as much as possible, I'd rather see you go to town with potato flakes than to catch you dining at your neighborhood Burger King. You may not be aware of this, but you can eat like a "king" even in the comfort of your own home. You can even wear this to complete the experience. Just make sure you send me a picture.
Anyway, without further ado, I present an awesome recipe for Shepherd's Pie that will knock your socks straight into the hands of poor, self-injurious Dobby.
1 1/2 lbs ground animal (I used a 20 oz package of ground turkey, and it was perfect)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup chicken stock (I ghettofied this recipe by using a bouillon cube)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 cloves garlic
Potatoes, chopped (I used about ten smallish ones that come in a 5 lb bag, but in the end, your amount of potatoes should be about equal to three russet potatoes)
3/4 cup milk
1 stick butter (yeah, it's a lot, but whatevs!)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350'. Prepare a deep 9 x 9 dish with non-stick spray.
2. Boil potatoes.
3. In one pan, brown whatever form of ground beast you choose.
4. In the meantime in another pan, saute the onions and garlic in 2 tbsp oil.
5. After about five minutes, when the onions begin to look semi-transparent, add tomato paste, chicken stock, and carrot. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or so. The carrots should begin to get soft and the sauce should begin to thicken.
6. Add meat to vegetable mixture and once combined, spread in the bottom of pan.
7. When the potatoes are done (I expect you know when to stop boiling potatoes), drain them. Return to pan, and add butter, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper. Use a hand mixer to free them of cellulite-looking lumps. Sigh... If only a hand mixer would solve that problem on my thighs. Cellulitis disappearus! Ugh... it's tough being a Muggle.
8. Spread potatoes over meat mixture and bake for 35-45 minutes.
9. Use a memory charm to banish your old recipe for Shepherd's Pie from your mind.