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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shepherd's Pie

I was really nervous about this recipe from A Good Appetite. I realized about halfway through that the serving size was way off. It was supposed to make about three cups. I ended up putting it in a 5 cup casserole dish. Then  I realized there was no oven temperature, so I put it in at 400 degrees and hoped for the best. Let's just say there was not a bite left in the casserole at the end of our dinner. We had to hold ourselves back just to give the dog one little morsel. I like the idea of the fennel, but I will be honest, we really could not taste it in this recipe. The flavors just blended together and the fennel just didn't stand out. The mashed potatoes were the best part. We also added a few green bean we had in the fridge.

Shepherd's Pie
from A Good Appetite
1 lb potatoes, peeled & cut into large pieces
2 T half & half
1 T butter
1 egg yolk
salt & pepper
1 T olive oil
2 small leeks, white & light green parts sliced
2 small fennel bulbs , sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 small peppers chopped
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1 T all-purpose flour
3/4 c chicken broth
1 T tomato paste
1/4 c frozen peas
2 T fennel frond, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes & a dash of salt. Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes until tender. Drain. Return the potatoes to the pot, add the half & half, butter & egg yolk & mash until smooth & fluffy. Salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, fennel bulb, carrots & peppers & cook until the vegetables become tender. Add the ground beef & cook until browned through. Stir in the flour & cook while stirring for a minute. Add the chicken broth & tomato paste & stir until thickened. Add the peas & fennel fronds & stir until just heated.

Divide the beef stew between two 1 1/2 c ramekins. Top with the mashed potatoes. Dot with a little butter if you wish. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet & into the oven. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown.

Serves 2

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