A classic, delicious English casserole of ground lamb topped with potatoes and cheese.
Potatoes: Prepare mashed potatoes, using whatever recipe you desire. Set aside
Meat: preheat oven to 350. Sauté onions in vegetable oil till soft. Add ground meat and brown. Add stock and stir for a few minutes; then stir in tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and whatever mix of seasonings you decide to use.
Assembly: layer meat in an ovenproof dish. Add corn if using, cover with warm mashed potatoes and, with a fork, score a pattern of lines in the top. Sprinkle with cheese and bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes till top turns golden brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
* When beef is used, the dish is can be called "Cottage" rather than "Shepherd's" Pie.
Tips & Glossary
Clotted Cream: a thick yellowish cream made from unpasturized cow's milk. You can make your own, although it's hard to find unpasturized cream in the U.S. Still, you'll find 3 recipes under Scones. All use pasturized cream; try to avoid "ultra" pasturized.
Ploughman's Lunch: sounds romantic, like a peasant dish from medieval times, but it's a marketing gimmick from the 1970's! It's become a popular lunch in Britain now: a piece of bread, hunk of cheese, with onion, gherkin, and an apple. Our Ploughman's Soup is a take-off on that name.
Roux: (“roo”), paste-like mixture of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. Used as a thickening agent for soups and all classic French sauces. Basic Roux: melt 1 part butter and add 1 part flour. Stir continuously till it becomes paste-like. Slowly add whatever liquid your recipe calls for.
Tea Time: Afternoon tea became fashionable in the mid-1600's. A light snack with sandwiches and sweets, it's served from 3-5 in a sitting room. High tea, is a light meal served from 5-6 in a dining room. ("High" because the dining table is higher than the low ones in a sitting room.)
Yorkshire Pudding: from the northern county of Yorkshire, originating in the early 1700s when flour was more readily available. A pancake like batter is spooned into the drippings of a roast as it cooks. Eaten alongside the roast or as a separate course.
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