Tag Archives: shepherd’s pie

Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

18 Mar

So about this Anglo-Irish party.

I have long, long, loooong wanted to stage a dramatic reading of a play at someone’s home. You know, just get copies of a play for everyone, assign roles and read it. In my mind’s eye, it would be a wine-sodden affair (to ease stage fright and add to the hilarity), and there would be good food between the acts to keep the energy going (and keep the wine from creating utter chaos). I mean, I like a regular old dinner party as much as anyone, but since I can’t seem to leave well enough alone, I thought this would be a worthy way to imbibe in the name of Art.

A view of the early buffet items

A view of the early buffet items

This would, however, require a lot more space than I have in my little apartment. So I mentioned it to likely friends over the years, and everyone thought it would be a great thing indeed. A few even laid claim to having thought up the idea themselves (which I have most vociferously not allowed to happen…you know who you are and you are never-ever-ever going to get away with it).

Before the mashed potato topping

Before the mashed potato topping

But no one offered to have it at theirs.

Finally, I did what all of us high achievers must do when we have a great idea. I did it myself.

I set a date, commandeered my parents’ kitchen and living room in their absence (which in my teenage years would have been called having a party when your parents are away and sort of hoping it doesn’t go all Risky Business on you), invited a few friends, made an executive decision on the play (The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Play for Serious People by Oscar Wilde). I ordered multiple copies from the local library. Then I started menu planning.

This is where we wonder whether we've poured ourselves enough wine to last through Act One. We ended up bringing the bottles along...just in case

This is where we wonder whether we’ve poured ourselves enough wine to last through Act One. We ended up bringing the bottles along…just in case

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The Best of 2011 – closing the year with my Top Five

31 Dec

Thanks to all my visitors  – regular and occasional – for a great year of cooking!

Unlike the rest of the year, this week has been a slow one for culinary adventure (I’ll explain that one later), so rather than do nothing, I’ve collected this year’s top five recipes – the ones that get hit time and time again to let you know what other folks are trying out in their kitchens.

I hope you will give them a try…and I will certainly try to do more things using these ingredients that you loved!

Best wishes for a wonderful and delicious New Year!

Natalia

NUMBER FIVE

Oatmeal, Cranberry, Raisin, Walnut Cookies (click name of dish for recipe!)

NUMBER FOUR

Cheesy Broccoli and Chorizo Pasta (click name of dish for recipe!)

NUMBER THREE

No-Crust Broccoli and Feta Quiche (click dish name for recipe!)

NUMBER TWO

Pastelón de Yuca (Puerto Rican Shepherd’s Pie) (click name of dish for recipe!)

NUMBER ONE!!!!!

Yuca en Escabeche (Yuca Salad) (click name of dish for recipe!)

Pastelón de Yuca (Puerto Rican Shepherd’s Pie)

22 May

In an October post I gave you my recipe for Basic Seasoned Ground Beef (recipe repeated here, so don’t lose heart!) a Latin-style ground beef basic (similar to Carne para Rellenar, for the cognoscenti) that I make loads of at a time and freeze in serving size portions to be transformed into nachos, chili con carne (with the addition of red beans, tomato puree and chile pepper), ragu sauce for pasta (add Italian seasonings and tomato puree) or any number of things.

One of my favorite things to do with Basic Seasoned Ground Beef is make pastelón; the Puerto Rican equivalent of Shepherd’s Pie. It doesn’t take a lot of active prep (although it does require oven time in addition to stove top time) and it is a warming dish that will take everyone to their happy place. Click here for Pastelón de Platanos – Plantain Pastelón – another classic version of this dish). The more beef you use, the thicker it will be. You can also substitute Pollo Guisado (stewed chicken). The first section is the yuca preparation, but I also include the beef and chicken recipes in this post so you have them handy. Continue reading

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