Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Meat & Potatoes" Shepard's Pie

Historical Food Fortnightly has started again and I'm back to blogging about food. 

This time around the stipulation is that the recipes have to be from the original source, so no redactions.  I'm fine with this as my collection of historic cook books has expanded a bit since last year.   A short-term goal is to use as much from the pantry, cellar and freezers as possible because we are full up of everything.  I'd also like to make some preserved foods for in between times, so that is another possibility.

And hating how I can't turn images in Blogger...
. Meat-and-Potatoes (January 1 - January 14) They’re a staple for the tables in the most rustic cottages as well as the fanciest banquet tables - and it’s also an idiom meaning a staple or the most basic parts of something. Make a historic “meat-and-potatoes” recipe - however you interpret it.
- Shepard’s Pie, 193, 194 The Household Searchlight, Topika Kansas, 1935
- Mashed Potatoes, 273, same.  Sub: soy milk for dairy.

This time around I chose Shepard's Pie from 'The Household Searchlight Recipe Book,' Topika Kansas, 1935.  There were substitutions, but it tasted OK.  I got the feel of it vs. reproducing exactly.  I decided to stay true to the Depression Era philosophy of using what you have on hand.  We were nearly out of carrots and I'm allergic to peppers.  A rutabaga came to the rescue, though it ended up slightly undercooked.  I think this would have been much improved with more carrots and no rutabaga.  The other glaringly non-historic substitution was soy milk in place of cow's milk, and no butter as my son still turns into Hive Boy at the slightest hint of dairy.

Prep was easy, though it took a few pots & pans.
I diced everything, thawed the already cooked turkey (good bye Holiday bird!), used the broth from the same, and cooked everything in the pan together.  Potatoes were boiling, mashed and then mixed with salt & pepper and the soy milk.  Oiled the pie plates and plopped everything in (I made a double batch).  The mashed potatoes barely covered everything, and if I were to do it again, I'd go easier on the veggies and more on the potatoes.  Just as an FYI, there was one large potato and 5 smalls, so it would have been plenty for one pie.  Shepard's pie can be made with any meat, but mutton or lamb is the first choice.  Turkey was it this time because it needed to be used.

400F for 30 minutes, then turned the oven off & let it all sit a bit more.  I had to put foil on the rack under because they both dripped.  It cut easily and came out well, but serve this in a bowl not on a plate.

It's good, but not fabulous.  Hearty, slightly bland, and filling; overall a passable meal.  I can see doing this with leftovers just to make something interesting that will actually be gone at the end of the meal. 

I'm full.