I’m a sucker for beautiful food photography, which is how I ended up with 3 or 4 cookbooks by Donna Hay. I was completely drawn in by the stunning photographs of Con Poulos, never considering that the recipes might be less than acceptable. Luckily, I have never been disappointed.
Today’s recipe comes from Ms. Hay’s Modern Classics, Book 1. I love shepherd’s pie, and this recipe seemed simple and authentic enough.
Start by peeling 2 lbs. of potatoes.
Cut them into 1-2 inch pieces and boil in liberally salted water until fork tender. Mash with 1/4 cup milk, 2 1/2 oz. butter and 1/2 cup cheese (I used a dry sharp cheddar).
Chop 2 medium carrots (or a couple of handsful of mini peeled carrots) and two small onions. Saute in 1 Tb. olive oil until tender.
Add 20 oz. beef or lamb mince (a.k.a. ground beef) and cook until browned. To this mixture add 2 Tb. tomato paste, 1 cup beef stock, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig of thyme and 1 14 oz. can peeled tomatoes. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, add 1 cup frozen or fresh peas and simer 15 minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Pour meat mixture into a 4-cup baking dish.
Cover with mashed potatoes and bake at 375F for 35 minutes, until potatoes have browned. Serves 4-6.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
20 oz. lamb or beef mince
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14 oz. can peeled tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 oz. butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup freshley grated cheese (I used cheddar, she suggests parmesan)