I cannot believe that November is almost over! We had such a fantastic Thanksgiving, it was so great to have all our family together! The best part, they were all here for our 5 annual Gator Golf Scramble and Party. GO GATORS!! I will post more about the party, food and of course the CAKE later this week.
The end of the month means another Secret Recipe Club Post, WOO HOO! This month, I was luckily to be assigned Double the Sugar. Shannon and Lucy have such a great blog, so diverse. They met in Scotland, at all places, Cadbury World! Shannon now lives in Seattle Washington and Lucy leaves in Edinburgh, Scotland. The say, "neither of us claims to be a trained chef, we are just enthusiastic home cooks with a weakness for carbs and sugars in all their forms. So we try to cover the whole spectrum from very basic things up to hard to master (for us) skills. Anything we blog about is purely because we like it, whether it’s a recipe, a review or a recommendation." By the way, if you are wondering, the name of the blog, Double the Sugar, it is from a quote attributed to Julia Child, when asked how to make good food in a hurry, she said “Double the sugar, and add bacon to everything”
Wow, what a challenge it was to pick just one recipe form their blog! I finally decided on Cottage Pie. Their post is actually Shepard's Pie, but according to Lucy, if you add lamb, it is Shepard's Pie, if you add Beef, it is Cottage Pie. We are huge fans of lamb in our house, but due to all the cooking I had going on for the holidays, I did not have time to grind my own lamb, and I could not find any in our local grocery stores.
One of the reasons I decided on this recipe, was the toasted spices that Lucy added. I could not wait to give them a try. In a pan, I toasted some red pepper flakes, ground cumin and ground corrander in a dry pan for a few minutes, just until they started to release their wonderful aroma.
Being a litte lazy, I chopped the onions, carrots and celery in my food processor and then sauteed them in some oil for about 5 minutes. I added the ground meat and cooked until brown.
I added the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, peas, and about 2/3 of the toasted spices. Then I made a boo boo. Lucy's recipe called for 300ml of hot stock, for some reason when I did the conversion, I was off and added too much stock to the pan. It was a little thin, so I brought it all to boil, reduced heat and simmered for 20 minutes. It was still not thick enough, so I decided instead of trying to thicken the sauce with cornstarch or flour, I would just drain some off. It was fine, but next time I make this recipe, and I will, I will use less stock. The measurements below are closer what I recommend.
While the meat was simmering, I peeled and chopped the potatoes into large chunks and put them into a pan of cold water. I brought them to a boil, reduced heat and simmeedr for 20 minutes until potatoes were tender. I drained the potatoes and mashed with some warm milk and butter.
I seasoned the filling with salt and pepper and then placed into an ovenproof dish. I topped it all with the mashed potatoes and baked for 35-40 minutes until it is golden and bubbling. About 20 minutes before the pie was finished, I sprinkled some grated cheese on the top and contined baking. Unfortunately, the pictures do not do this dinner justice, sorry.
1 heaping tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons oil
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cup hot beef stock
2 1/2 pounds potatoes
milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toast the red pepper flakes, cumin and coriander together in a dry pan for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. This will make more of the mix than you really need so I keep the extra in a container for next time or for seasoning anything else. This is a good recipe without the spices added but I think it’s better with them in, it just gives it a bit of a kick, which I loved.
Saute the chopped onions, carrot and celery in oil for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
Then turn up the heat and add the minced lamb which you should cook for 3-4 minutes while breaking up the meat as it browns.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, peas, spices and hot stock to the pan and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Peel and chopped potatoes into large chunks and put them into a pan of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and mash with warm milk.
Season the filling with salt and pepper and then place into an ovenproof dish.
Spread the mashed potatoes on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until it is golden and bubbling. Some of the liquid may spill out during cooking so I prefer to put something underneath to catch the overspill. About 20 minutes before the pie is finished take it out and sprinkle your grated cheese on the top.