Last night we had Shepherd’s pie. (Made with real shepherds–ha! I love that movie.)
Seriously, though, it was made with leftovers. Which is the great thing about Shepherd’s pie–it can be anything you want, really. The thing that makes it Shepherd’s pie (I believe) is the mashed potato topping.
We had some leftover chicken from the night before, and some wonderful farm-fresh peas in the freezer, and, of course, all these yummy new potatoes.
So it seemed like a no-brainer. So I just looked up a couple of recipes that seemed good and just winged it. (Winged it? Wung it?) It turned out fantastic.
First I chopped four or five medium potatoes and put them on to boil so they’d be ready when the filling was done.
Then I chopped up some onion, a couple of big carrots, and a stalk of celery, which I fried in a small amount of oil, adding a couple tablespoons of chopped red pepper, just because I had it and I wanted to use it up. Then I had a stroke of genius and chopped up two pieces of bacon to add to the mix. I put in some dried thyme and just let all the veggies brown a bit. Then I put the chopped chicken in–probably about 2.5 cups worth.
Then I added a little bit of butter and flour to make a roux, and when that had cooked for a minute I added a cup of chicken stock. I thought I might have to cook that down a bit, but it got thick immediately, so I added the peas (about a cup), some salt and pepper, and just a smidge of Worcestershire sauce and put it in a casserole dish.
By this time the potatoes were done, so I drained them and added about a half-cup of cream, a couple tablespoons of butter, an egg yolk, and some salt and pepper. I just mashed this all together and topped the pie with it.
I left it in the oven for about a half-hour, but mostly because I was waiting for Trevor to come home–I think 15 or 20 minutes probably would have done it.
But it was delicious. I might have to actually start writing these recipes down.