Tag Archives: shepherds pie

The Shepherd with a Moral Objection to Meat

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c Nutrela, dry
  • 2 M Russet potatoes
  • 1/2 M sweet yellow onion
  • 3 L cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1.25 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 c frozen peas
  • 6ish baby carrots
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp sharp cheddar, shredded

shepherdsvegetarianpieThis might’ve ended up being a full-on vegan recipe, but in an effort to ensure that my first experience with Nutrela wasn’t assuredly terrible (it’s easier to be assuredly terrible if it’s unfamiliar) I employed the assistance of butter and cheese. To be fair, I was wicked excited to see a non-meat protein that touted such an excellent black and white side-label (see below) for $1.99. And that’s not $1.99 a serving, it’s for an entire box with several meals slated. I really wanted this to work, and I will let you know up front that it was a relatively good experiment despite using primarily dairy fats in lieu of my normal heavy-handed seasoning.

nutrelaStart by preparing your Nutella… crap, Nutrela… according to box instructions.  When cooked and drained and then squeezed for excess moisture (because it will be in excess), set aside and go about doing the things with which you are familiar.

I sliced the garlic and onion thin, then minced it like I could give a shit and added it to the melted butter on L-ML. Stir in turmeric and let the whole mess saute in golden glory while for about ten minutes. I like to leave the skins on my potatoes for both ease and potential nutrients; slice and boil them until soft. 5-10m before they’re ready to drain/mash, throw the baby carrots in with the boiling water. When you drain the potatoes, just pick them out before mashing happens and set them aside.

nutrela2Now your garlic and onion should be ready to push to one side and fork-smash (I couldn’t find the whisk) whole wheat flour into. Mix in the tomato sauce and other seasonings. Make a paste then begin adding in broth. When everything is thick and gravy-y, add in Nutrela then stir in peas and sliced baby carrots. Remove from heat and pour into a glass baking dish. Fork-smash those taters and layer that on top. But not really on the top-top because you will also decide to toss on a sprinkle of cheese in one last silent prayer to the Not Sucking Gods. Bake at 400° for 20m or until cheese begins to brown. I believe I can do better with Nutrela, but believing even that means a huge success just happened — make sure you get it boiled to a texture you like, then pull out 4 spoons!


Pasticcio di Carne Ricoperto di Purè (or, “That’s Fancy for Italian Shepherd’s Pie”)

In my pantry today:

  • .5 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 hot Italian sausage
  • 6 sm-med red potatoes
  • 1 c asparagus, cut
  • 2-4 blanched tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • sprinkle salt

First, call the Waaahmbulance. It is such a pain in the bottomnotches to upload any photos right now. My computer needs an OS reinstall and I can’t do that until I make sure my freelance gigs are taken care of. There was a sudden death in the family and five days of IV infusions for me to control a particularly virulent MS flare… and now I am on steroids for three more weeks and OMG NOM SO HUNGRY NOM. /ninewaahwaah

To be fair — abundant silver linings do exist. In about a week I get to put on fancy clothes and go to a state museum exhibit opening because of the brochure and notecards I made. I am working with another state organization for an upcoming event. I can feel my hands again and I have not had eyeball seizures for a full 24 hours. These and other things remind me that life is good, that I am lucky… and I am hungry.

Mince one clove garlic and mix into ground beef. Remove sausage casing and chop animals while they brown comfortably on M. In another pan, put 1/2 tsp oil and 1 tbsp butter in pan to melt. Chop and add onion and 3 cloves garlic. Let cook over M heat while you dice up those frozen blanched tomatoes. Add that, liquid and all, and let it all boil down on M for 10-15m. Stir in corn starch, bring back to boil then remove from heat. Gently wring moisture from asparagus if frozen (always better of course if fresh) and chop into thirds or fourths. Pour everything into the meat and gently stir.

Meanwhile, you’ve been boiling whole taters and browning one clove of garlic on L with remaining butter. Once the potatoes are soft enough to smash, do that with a potato masher or fork. Pour the meat mix into a baking dish, then place smashed potatoes on top. Pour butter/garlic mix over potatoes, add a little more seasoning and top all that with Parmesan. Put in 350° oven for 20m. This is a gorgeous dish of which I took many photographs. It is not your time, apparently, to lay witness upon it’s glory. 5 spoons!

Sherpa Pie

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c cooked chana (chickpeas)
  • 4 s/m potatoes
  • 1 med. carrot
  • 1 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1 med. onion
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp asaoetida
  • 3/4 tsp salt

I decided to soak and cook some chana to address and perhaps overcome the seemingly nonsensical aversion I have to the taste of their shape, which is what I imagine elves’ poop must look like. My first instinct on this path to overcoming the more human attributes of tiny mystical creatures was to think about mashing them into some manner of delicious burger, meatball, meat patty or some other such animalesque fashion. Making something familiar was a good way to make the unfamiliar feel more welcome, right?

Well, tell that to the internets.

Most often returned results of the search string “recipe chickpeas” will get you largely two answers: hummus and chana masala. Both of which I have had, made and do not mind. Granted, hummus isn’t really a hot meal and we’re low on naan. Cross it off the dinner list. Chana masala… delicious, but still contains that impish little pop in your mouth I despise. And its roots come from another continent, which is just about the opposite of “familiar” to a girl born and raised in South Carolina. Who wasn’t in the mood for rice tonight. But wait… there were potatoes in the pantry! Oh, yes, sir.

Cut up the potatoes and start them to boiling. Start 2 tsp of with the black mustard seeds in a large, deep pan heating to M. Quarter the onion, add 1/4 c water and the garlic and -ginger pastes then pulse it all in the food processor until minimally chunky. Cut your carrot into small pieces and add to the onion. Pulse it a couple of times until carrot is your desired meal size. The onion should be getting to the consistency of cold grits. By this time, your mustard seeds are surely popping — spatula out the food processor into the pan. Even out the layer and let it continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5m. Add the undrained can of tomatoes, stir everything together. Start adding the rest of your seasonings, holding back 1/2 tsp salt for the potatoes. When everything is uniform, fold in the chana.

Let this cook for just another minute or two, then turn the burner off and let it stew while you drain the potatoes and mash them with the almond milk, sour cream and salt. Move back to your chana and give it a last stir before layering it all in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top it with the mashed potatoes, cover and bake at 350° for 20m. 4 spoons — could be five if the carrots were a little more tender and the potatoes a little more hifallutin.