Monday, 18 November 2013

A British Classic- Shepherd's Pie

It's always interesting to cook new recipes, especially classic ones which you have only read about but never tried. Today's recipe is a classic British pie, traditionally made with minced beef or lamb. Since we do not eat beef and didn't have lamb at hand, I decided to try it with minced chicken. There are also a few tweaks included, which makes this dish "no one can have just one" type of a dish. It is extremely simple and serves as a great meal in itself, served with some salad or pita bread. 

350 gms minced chicken
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium capsicum, chopped
1/2 cup frozen/fresh peas
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
5 medium potatoes, boiled
1/4 cup milk 
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp curry powder (I used pav bhaji masala; you can use any curry powder of your choice like meat masala or something similar)
1 cube knorr chicken broth, mixed in 1/2 cup warm water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

In a medium skillet, heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic till the onions are translucent. Add the chopped capsicum, carrots, and peas and fry for 5-7 minutes. Add the minced chicken and continue stirring till the chicken gets evenly broken and pink. Now add the sauces and the curry powder and give a good stir. Tip in the chicken broth and mix well. Cover and cook till the chicken is tender. Lastly, add the cornflour mix and cook uncovered till the gravy thickens. Add salt and pepper, although I did not find it necessary to add further salt as per my taste. Remove from heat and cool.
In a separate bowl, take the boiled potatoes and mash it with the back of a fork. Add the milk and butter and mash further. It is easier and better to use a hand blender at this point to ensure a creamy texture. Add one beaten egg and whip further. Add a little salt, pepper, and oregano and mix well. If you find the texture too thick you can add 1-2 tbsp milk. 
Pre-heat the oven in the broiler mode. Take a square casserole dish and lay out the minced chicken mixture spreading evenly. Top it with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle grated parmesan on top. Broil it for 10-12 minutes or until you get a golden crust on top. Serve it with a salad if your choice or enjoy it as a meal in itself. 

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