Monday, 7 December 2015

Tuesday Food Blog - Shepherd's Pie

There comes a point when it is good to return to things that are familiar and one such meal, which is undoubtedly comfort eating, is Shepherd's Pie.


Shepherd's Pie


Why would I consider mince and onion with mashed potato topping blogworthy? Well it is a good basis for those who want to experiment with their dishes on which to work.

Obviously, it isn't shepherd's pie without the lamb mince, but when you've said that there are no further limitations to what you find beneath the mash.

I usually begin by frying an onion off with salt, black pepper and garlic. Then I add the mince and any dried herbs I wish to include. On this occasion I used sage, but with lamb you could put rosemary in there, whatever takes your fancy. Now really, apart from adding some stock, that is the 'filling' completed. However, you can add mushrooms or black pudding for richness and I put vegetables in at this point. At the weekend I put in a couple of sliced carrots and some frozen peas. I actually through them in with the mince and onions in the frying pan before I transferred to the casserole. Other vegetables that could work, any pulses instead of the peas, I suppose courgettes may work and you could add tomatoes if you like a slightly more Italian style.

Then there is the stock. You can put almost anything in but I suppose as you are using a lighter meat than beef, vegetable or white meat stock would work. I used beef stock!

Finally, the mash. This is something that can be almost anything that will mash. Carrot and swede, potato and parsnip, sweet potato mash, anything you are used to mashing that will maintain its consistency in the oven for about 45 minutes at 175 degrees. You could sprinkle cheese, or slice tomato on top as a garnish. I've described my mashed potato before with , creme fraiche, basil, butter and salt and black pepper added. I love the basil with potato it seems to go very well.

The dish goes into the oven for 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned.

A significant number will probably come up over the next few hours - 10 000 followers on twitter. All I can say is thank you for following and that I hope you derive some kind of pleasure or education from the experience.




Synopsis

Steele has to travel back to Japan to justify recent behaviours that may have revealed his connection with the Gurentai. He is given a task to complete that finds him on the ill-fated Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur. Hours later he awakens in a cell in a place and country of which he has no knowledge. 
Being the resourceful man he is, Steele manages to escape and travels north meeting up with his fiancĂ©e Naomi Kobayashi in Astana the capital of Kazakhstan. 
Steele is naturally curious about the fate of the other 238 passengers from the plane which drives him onward to investigate further. He discovers that there are links between Russian organised crime and a Muslim group which stirs fears in his mind regarding the fate of MH370. This causes him to go to the Venice of the North, St Petersburg, where he finds the leader of the Russian mafia and a link with the Muslim pilots of the plane. 
All does not go well however, and Steele and Kobayashi are captured by their mafia enemy and incarcerated in MH370 on the way to the target that Steele suspected all along – in London.
Can Steele extricate himself from this seemingly hopeless situation? 
Has Steele convinced the Gurentai that he is trustworthy enough to deserve their support?
Will Steele manage to deflect the missile in which he is incarcerated from killing thousands in London?
This story is a speculative journey based upon the data and misinformation surrounding the loss of Malaysian Flight 370 in March 2014.

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What you find between the covers of my book is not the definitive list of possibilities but is rather an indication of the lengths that the powers that be will go to to hide from the public those things they deem sensitive.

The book is available in ebook format through Smashwords and Amazon which includes for Nook and Kindle. The two relevant links are below.



If you wish to hold the book in your hands then it is available from completelynovel.com in paperback and will be with you before Christmas if you order in the next few days. That link is below.




If you want to see what others think check this link out,



God Bless