Friday, October 16, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is an English dish, traditionally made with finely chopped lamb or mutton. Americans typically make Shepherd's Pie with ground beef. The English (and Australians and New Zealanders) call the beef dish a "cottage pie".
This recipe serves four.
  • 2 pounds potatoes (3 large ones) peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream, for a lighter version substitute broth 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas, carrots (diced) and corn

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk, cheddar cheese and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt, pepper and garlic. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In another skillet cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer gravy about 1 minute, add gravy meat and vegetables. Stir in peas and corn.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

This recipe is easily adapted for use with the Dutch oven process. Cook the meat, veggies and gravy in the Dutch oven over coals, and cook the potatoes in another pan. When the mashed potatoes are prepared, spoon them over the hot meat mixture, put about a dozen coals on the oven lid and cook until the potatoes are browned.

Serve with a salad, hot rolls and butter.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Uncle Leonard Kelly's Smoked Salmon Brine & Turkey Brine

Ok friends and neighbors - here you go - two great brine recipes from our buddy John A., in his own words.

Uncle Leonard Kelly's Smoked Salmon Brine

2 QT Water
3/4 Cup Un-Iodized Salt
1 C. White Sugar
2 C. Brown Sugar
1 TBLS (tablespoon) - Cyan or Chili Pepper
3/4 TBLS Garlic Powder
1/2 TBLS Onion Powder

Soak fish in brine overnight - place fish on racks, skin down, let dry 2 - 3 hrs. then sprinkle a layer of brown sugar on top of fish fillets, and fresh ground black pepper. (Sugar s about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick)

Smoke 10-12 hours - Maple or Alder wood are preferred.


Thanksgiving Smoked Turkey Brine: 12-15 pound Turkey
2 C. un-iodized salt
4 C. brown sugar
3 TBLS onion powder
3 TBLS celery salt
1 TBLS garlic powder
1 crushed bay leaf
1 TBLS cinnamon
1 gallon cranberry or cranberry/raspberry juice

Place turnkey in plastic garbage bag in a large bucket, cover the turkey with brine and squeeze all of the air out of the bag before closing it up. Soak in brine overnight. Smoke turkey 5-6 hrs (maple or alder wood). Finish off turkey on the BBQ - 1.5 to 2 hrs.

Good stuff - both of these! Not sure how the fish brine would work on cat fish or your Gulf fish, but may be worth a try. I have used it on Sturgeon with good result. Enjoy.