Cottage Pie

Updated: Mar 21

This is the other Irish dish for St. Paddy's Day that I was talking about. Well, technically, not really an Irish dish tho. I don't eat lamb (I am using chicken), so to call this a Shepard's Pie is like putting pineapples on pizzas. I definitely do not wanna offend any Irish people. Anyway, this recipe is inspired by the wonderful Gizzi Erskine. Pls, pardon my bad photoshoot as it starting pouring with dim lighting and you know how much I depend on natural lighting.



I am not a fan of pie pastry crust, which is the reason why you hardly find any pie recipe on this webbie. But there is something wonderful about the pies in the U.K.; mashed potatoes are used as some sort of crusts. How wonderful is that? And what Gizzi did really blew my mind; she used cauliflower mashed instead! We know how "heavy" mashed potatoes are. And cauliflower mashed adds that sorta lightness as well as some floral aromatics to the dish. That ras el hanout really gives the whole dish an extra omph. So, kudos Gizzi!



I am using lots of carrots, mushrooms and leeks for this pie. The finely blitz mushrooms add an extra ooey texture as well as an umami note to the dish. You can change the vegetables around. Onions, celery, squash and parsnips are really a great alternative combination. You can of cos use lamb of cos and call this shepherd's pie too. I actually intended to create an elegant slice of this pie, and I almost forgot that this is a hearty rustic dish that doesn't need any artsy plating. I hope you will give this recipe a try and Happy St. Paddy's Day! Check out Gizzi's original recipe here.


Ingredients:

Inspired by Gizzi Erskine

(Serve 4)

  • Fillings:

  • Chicken Thigh Skinless Boneless, 300g

  • Ras El Hanout, 2 TBSP

  • Mushroom Powder, 1 TSP

  • Peanut / Sunflower / Grapeseed / Canola Oil, 2 TBSP

  • Leeks White Parts Only Coarsely Sliced, 2

  • Carrots Thinly Sliced, 6 Preferably Non-GMO & Organic

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Shittake Mushrooms Blitz Finely In Food Processor, 200g

  • Garlic Finely Minced, 3 Cloves

  • Tomato Puree, 1 TBSP

  • White Wine (I'm using Pinot), 200g

  • Chicken Stock, 500g

  • Tarragon Coarsely Sliced, A Handful

  • Mashed:

  • Cauliflower Florets, 800g Adjust To Skillet Size

  • Unsalted Butter, 2 TBSP

  • Chicken Stock, 50g

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

Equipment:

  • Sauce Pot

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan

  • Food Processor

  • Oven

Directions:

  1. Please visit my "How To Make Ras El Hanout" page for the recipe.

  2. Prepare the fillings.

  3. Dice chicken thigh to about 1/2 inch cubes.

  4. Transfer into a shallow bowl.

  5. Add in ras el hanout & mushroom powder.

  6. Coat the chicken well with the spices and seasoning.

  7. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge for 1 to 2 hrs.

  8. *You can prep the rest of the mise en place while the chicken is marinading.*

  9. In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.

  10. Once the oil is heated up, add in the chicken.

  11. Give the chicken a good sear on all sides.

  12. Remove the chicken and transfer it onto a plate.

  13. Using the same skillet, add in leeks and carrots.

  14. Deglaze, picking up all the nooks and crannies.

  15. Season with salt & pepper.

  16. Once the carrots are slightly softened, add in mushrooms, garlic, tomato puree and tarragon.

  17. Saute until well combined.

  18. Add in white wine and deglaze the skillet.

  19. Add in the chicken and all the juices on the plate.

  20. Lastly, add in the chicken stock.

  21. Stir until well combined.

  22. Turn the heat down to low and bring it up to a slow simmer.

  23. Cover and cook until the liquid has reduced to 1/4.

  24. *Stir occasionally to prevent burning.*

  25. Taste & adjust for seasonings with salt & pepper.

  26. Remove from heat.

  27. While the fillings are cooking, prepare the mashed.

  28. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius or 400 fahrenheit.

  29. Blitz cauliflower florets finely in a food processor.

  30. Transfer into a sauce pot over medium heat.

  31. Add in butter and chicken stock.

  32. Mix until well combined.

  33. You can see that the cauliflower starts becoming like mashed potatoes.

  34. Transfer this mixture back into the food processor.

  35. Blitz until light, fluffy and smooth.

  36. Taste & adjust for seasonings with salt & pepper.

  37. Transfer onto the fillings.

  38. Smooth out with a spatula.

  39. You can go fancy and use a piping bag to create some artsy design.

  40. I am just using a fork to create some sort of lines-design.

  41. Wack into the oven and bake for 20 to 30 mins or until the mashed is browned.

  42. Remove from oven, scoop portions onto serving plates and serve immediately.


These are the carrots that I used.


Aren't they beautiful?



No artsy fancy plating needed.



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