Summer STEAK- How to?

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.
— Julia Child

How to cook a Juicy Tri-tip Steak

Driving home in the snow in a beat up old car that you bought for $600 wasn't a good idea at sixteen but you make your way to the mountains no matter the consequences of the weather. I would leave at the end of the day and know I had to go slow.    I loved the wetness of the big flakes falling.  My windshield wipers were strong but sometimes the snow collected on them so thick I thought I wouldn't make it home.  And yet I still went because it was the best days ever when I was there.  I know this sounds like the song but it is true. I would come home tired, super hungry, and invigorated that I drove home alone in that weather.  I felt like a superwoman.  Proud of my abilities.

I had a ski trip this year for a first time in a long time.  My body was tired, I felt the ache in my legs that I didn't remember but the pain wasn't much because in my mind all I could go back to was those good memories. Those times when I skied for days at a time.  Where the snow was beautiful as I creeped on home.  Sometimes taking two maybe three hours but the next weekend I would be there again.  I was patient for my love of the white stuff.

 It's often the same story when you go to a restaurant and order a steak.  You wait for it.  Why do you go back?  Because it's good because it's memories  in your mind of that juicy, salty and flavorful chunk of meat.  In fact it's so good I wondered how do they do it?

 I want to do that at home.  I wanted that memory in my own kitchen.

Was it was possible?

I always figured I would have to have a special pan or grill or something to make a steak taste like a restaurant.  But, as it turns out that is not the case.  After much practice and youtubing I finally realized like anything steaks can be fantastic made at home but it is all about patience.

 Hmm that is not always the easiest quality for anyone and especially when you want to just have dinner quick on the table.

 It's funny though because part of why we go to a restaurant is to have that time to sit and wait for our meal. It is forced patience. My mind started whirring.  What if I applied this same idea to cooking steak?

 If I went to a restaurant I might start with a glass of wine to linger and maybe some nibbles...and I would wait.

 So here it is:

the secret to cooking a great steak😋:

Prep time and Rest.

 I know you are in shock. 😱

How to cook a Steak

But no worries it is simple.

The hard work includes: removing from the fridge give it a little TLC or in this case,

OSPOOlive oil, Salt and Pepper, and Open up your bottle of wine. 🍷

Now I got ya hooked, huh?!  

Oh and while you drink that wine let me know what were you nibbling on?

screenshots from food blogger pro

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound boneless Tri-tip Steak

  • Kosher salt and Black Pepper

  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil

Instructions

Step 1

Take steak out of refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.  If no bone in steak and it is thick, pound out the steak between two pieces of parchment paper using a mallet.  

Step 2

Coat steak with Olive Oil on both sides and then Salt and Pepper steak on both sides as well.  Rest steak (NOT IN REFRIGERATOR) on a plate on the countertop.  

Step 3

Heat Grill to a very hot temperature. If cooking inside heat oven to 450 degrees.  

Step 4

Once your oven is hot heat pan that can go in the oven until almost smoking when a drop of oil is added.  Lay steak in pan ending with the steak away from you.  Do not move steak around in pan.  It is ready to flip when it moves away from pan easily.  Flip and take off stove top and finish in oven. Cook 4-5 minutes or less. You want the steak just underdone as it will continue cooking on the counter.  You can check it with a thermometer and if you like it medium remove it at 155 degrees F internal temperature.  Remove steak from pan and allow to rest 5-10 minutes until reaches a temp of 160 degrees.  If you like your steak medium rare remove it at 140 degrees F and allow to rest same amount of time to reach 145 degrees F.  Using a thermometer is a good indicator when new at cooking steak to tell it's doneness.  As you cook more you will be able to tell by the touch.  So when it comes out touch the steak and then touch again when it is done resting to see what "done" feels like.  Do this each time you make steak until you can tell without the thermometer.

Step 5

If cooking on the grill it is the same technique except you do not need to place it in a pan.  You still need to remove it and let it rest.  The resting is IMPORTANT!

Step 6

Slice steak across the grain if slicing for the plate or for saving for another meal. You can finish with some finishing salt such as Smoked Paprika Salt or Spicy Salt if you want to kick it up a notch.

Tips

  • REST, REST, REST😴😴😴 the STEAK -this allows the cooking to be completed and assures that the steak comes to the perfect temperature. If you have hungry folks slowly plate any other food or ask them to pour the wine etc until time to plate the steak

  • If you buy meat that is meant to be cooked for a long time such as rump or shoulder it will not taste good cooked fast. A good way to remember is if it is a muscle in YOUR BODY that works hard or is big, it is a muscle IN THE ANIMAL that wants to be cooked long. Such as- shoulders, rumps, or shanks. Easy muscles include tri-tips and sirloins are not working too hard and are kind of the lazy muscles just chillin' 😎

  • Purchase extra steak and have leftover steak salads, steak tacos, quesadillas, or steak sandwiches

  • Serve with spinach or other leafy greens for extra iron and plate the steak over them and let the juices run into the greens for extra saucy greens.

  • A good steak made well starts at home...Don't feel like you have to go to a fancy restaurant to have a great steak, the best ones start at home with quality meat.

HAPPY EATING!

What to Cook with a Dutch Oven? Lamb!

What do you mean you don’t eat no meat? ….. That’s OK, I’ll make lamb
— Andrea Martin as Aunt Voula in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Lamb with  an Herb Salad

Patience is a quality that I have over time been learning to develop.  Maybe it's my age, yes I am getting older...😉😉...maybe it's the ups and downs of life, but the more I discover about this quality the more I have learned that putting it into practice makemy life  better. 

Think about it... you're stuck at the airport🛩 for 8 hours and want to get home but the weather or something else has made it impossible. 

Option 1 : I could become impatient and get angry😡 at the people working, or be furious😡 inside myself that I have to sit around, tired and exhausted, and wanting to go home. 

Option 2: I sit and have a glass of wine🍷 and some snacks and be thankful that I have time to work if that's what I want to do, or, read a book📚 (me time) or sit around surfing pinterest. My options are limitless.   After all, how often would I take 8 hours and do any of those things for that long and not feel like I had been wasting time.  Never, until now! I have the excuse I can give to my brain.  Hmm...Option 2 is looking pretty darn good.

I am beginning to think getting stuck at the airport isn't so bad. What about you?

 See what I mean,  patience has turned my thoughts around.  

Will I be tired tomorrow at work? Yeah....  But wouldn't I have probably been tired anyway? Yeah, for sure. Just being honest.   I probably would have stayed up late goofing around on Pinterest or reading that mystery novel into the wee hours, right?  You and I both know it's true...😉

The saying that "patience is a virtue" I haven't always understood, but I am starting to "get it".

 I usually relate these little aah haa moments in life to cooking and that's what making this Lamb is all about.  I have spoken to many about the fact that they don't like cooking and I keep hearing "I don't have time."  I get that. No one has the time. In fact those 24 hours in a day go so fast that they seem to vanish before we get started.  

But that's what we all have, right?

 24 hours.

Everyday.

 Patience is what we do with that time.

 It's what we make of it...

 It's the laughter from that hilarious SNL skit that you watched in the morning.

 It's the little hummingbirds that you saw flit around drinking nectar that made you smile.

 It's the lamb you cooked, filling the house with smells of spices of the mediterranean.

Patience my friends builds character, builds strength and makes you some darn good Lamb.

Be Happy. Start Cooking. 

Lamb and Herbs getting ready to carve

Adapted Slightly from Food and Wine

 Lamb INGREDIENTS  

  • 1/2 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 jalapeños, seeded and quartered
  • One 2-pound boneless leg of lamb, tied
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Herb Salad Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup packed parsley leaves chopped (1/2 bunch)
  • 3/4 cup packed cilantro leaves chopped (1/2 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup packed tarragon leaves chopped 
  • 1/2 cup snipped chives
  • 1 jalapeño—halved, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Lemon Juice for Lamb

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425  degrees F. In a Dutch Oven* the size of your lamb  place chicken stock,wine, lemon juice, honey, allspice, cloves, coriander,paprika, thyme, oregano, and peppercorns. Next add onions,jalapeno and garlic. Season Lamb with Salt and Pepper and place on top of onions etc fattier side facing up. Making sure the liquid does not completely cover the lamb. If it does remove some liquid. You want to have about 2 inches not covered. More is okay as long as pot is not completely dry.

Braising Preparation for Lamb

Step 2

Braise* the lamb uncovered for 45 minutes until it starts to brown on top. After browning drop oven temperature to 325 degrees F and put a lid on the dutch oven and continue braising about 2 more hours until lamb meat starts to pull apart easily, if you stick a fork in it and tug a little. Not much tugging should be needed that will help you know it is done.  You can check it after an hour to see how tough the meat is at that time so you know what falling apart means.  Also make sure that the liquid is not completely gone from the pot.  If so add more broth and wine if you have it.Once braised remove from oven and allow to cool on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.

Lamb and Herbs

Step 3

While letting the meat rest you can strain out the large pieces of the braising liquid and put the liquid back in the pot and taste.  Add salt and pepper to your taste and slowly cook the liquid until reduced about 10 minutes to a thicker sauce consistency. It will not be thick like gravy more like an au jus with lots of flavor.  If you don't have much liquid don't cook it all down to nothing just briefly heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4

Make herb salad to go on top of meat. Mix chopped parsley, cilantro, chives,tarragon and jalapeno.  Cover onions with Lemon juice and leave for a few minutes to decrease the bite in the red onions.  Then add olive oil and mix in a jar and shake.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing over salad and allow to rest for about 10 minutes for flavors to blend.

Step 5

Slice lamb and serve with herb salad on top and some store-bought or homemade tzatziki. You can also serve lamb over rice or couscous or with Delicious Pita Bread!

 

Tips

  • *Braising Definition: to cook slowly in fat and little moisture in a closed pot- A WEEKEND ESSENTIAL WAY TO COOK! 
  • *Dutch Ovens are great because you can use them on the stovetop and then place them in the oven and they keep the heat! A 5 1/2 quart is a good size for family of 4 or for two people and then leftovers.
  • Any dry white wine will do for the lamb braising sauce. Even better if you like the taste so you can have some with the lamb later.

Dungeness Crab Salad

The crab that walks too far falls into the pot.
— Haitian Proverb

Dungeness Crab Salad

It's been one of those weeks. The kind where everything that can go wrong does.  Trying to keep up that positive attitude all the while dealing with a gas leak in the house that no one seems to be able come and fix.

 It's funny how such a small thing can effect so much of your life.  So I don't have hot water, or a stove top, or heat it's not all bad I can deal. 

Then throw  in getting a cold, and food poisoning to the mix and well it just seemed to go downhill from there.

 I was beginning to go on that downward path of poor me, you know the one that one gets from time to time. 

 Then I started thinking I can manage there, has got to be something good to come out of this.  It's funny how just when you think no one cares little things come your way.

  • I got a Starbucks card from a friend.
  • I helped someone learn some new things.
  • Neighbors offered their hot showers as needed.
  • A friend stopped by with a bottle of homemade coffee liquor.
  •  Someone mentioned how much I had been missed while I was at home dealing with the cold.
  • Amazon Prime rescued us with a new electric heater that is here to stay and is even chic and stylish.
  • My sweetie offered to cook on the grill even in the cold.  

The list seems little but it was all BIG to me.

 It was what I needed, just a reminder that sometimes things seem insurmountable and overwhelming and then someone does something kind, or offers a smile and you think okay, I am gonna be okay.  Tomorrow will be a better day.

 So if your are hating life today cause it's Monday I'm sorry, cause this is my Monday. 

It is the Monday that I have been waiting for, cause:

my Gas Leak is going to be found,

the repair is going to happen

and...

I am going to once again have hot water. 🚿 Hallelujah!

 It's the little things that I am thankful for today and I am going to try to keep in mind for the next time that it's one of those,... weeks.

 I hope you do too.  And if your week or month is already  amazing then I am happy for you too.  If it's not here is a little kindness being sent your way.🌷  

Oh and a crab salad that doesn't need to be cooked with a gas stove, ♨️ just saying....😉

Happy Eating! Dungeness Love!

Ingredients

Adapted from

Vinaigrette

  • 1 garlic clove, micro-microplane grated or minced 
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Sugar to taste
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grain course- grain dark mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill for vinaigrette and more to top salad
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Squirt of lemon juice

Salad

  • 1 head of Bibb Lettuce-washed and lightly chopped
  • 2 Whole Dungeness crabs pre-cooked cleaned and crab meat removed

Instructions

Step 1

Buy Dungeness Crabs from a reputable source (avoid anywhere the crab smells like ammonia) and ask them to open the crabs and clean them.  You will still be pulling the meat out of the crab but it will take less times than doing everything.  The best part of this salad is you can clean the crabs early in the day and have the crab meat and dressing prepped and ready to go. Remove the crab meat and for extra tips on how to do so check out this video by a Seattle Chef who made a lentil dish for my food styling class where I learned  and share many tips right here on the blog.

Step 2

Grate the garlic on a microplane if you own one (I like this one) directly into a bowl or even a mason jar to make it easy for storing. Add the cider vinegar, sugar, and grain mustard and either whisk together or shake in the jar.  Next add the olive oil slowly whisking into vinegar so that it emulsifies or add to jar and shake.  Add fresh dill if eating immediately, if not add to dressing before eating salad. Salt and pepper to taste and whisk all together or shake jar.

Step 3

Lightly chop bibb lettuce prior to serving and dress with vinaigrette in a bowl.  Top with fresh crab, squirt of lemon and a little more fresh dill. 

Enjoy the salty fresh taste of crab mixed with the mustard vinaigrette and light lettuce leaves.  It is a started to any meal or a fresh dinner all on its own.

Tips

  • Enjoy with a glass of Viognier or better yet Champagne!  Splurge a little!
  • Heavy crab is better...lift it up and if it feels heavy it's a keeper
  • Don't buy a crab with a missing leg...you want it to have all it's body parts so you know it was not overcooked

Ramen Noodles

It’s raining pigs and noodles. It’s pouring frogs and hats...A flood of figs and nickels is falling through the air. I see a swan, a sweater, a clock, a model train— I like this so much better than when it’s falling rain.
— Jack Prelutsky

Ever think you have more time than you do?

I do.  All the time.😣

 You figure 15 minutes to get over to that appointment on the other side of town is more than efficient only to realize that every stoplight you are going to traverse is at least 3 minutes long making you late.😫

 Our rush through life makes us think that we don't have time for things like fresh noodles.  Of course the three hours of television that we watched the night before only make us feel even more guilty.

 These noodles are not about guilt or about adding something to your to do list.  They are just about eating something you made with your hands.

 Do they take a few extra minutes? Sure.

But then again so did that stoplight.  

It's a new year and everyone is excited it feels fresh and exciting.  Having some ramen broth and noodles in the freezer to pull out when that sickness comes on or guests are coming for dinner and it's freezing outside.

 There is nothing like fresh noodles.

 They cook quickly in only 2 minutes instead of the standard 10 minutes for dry pasta noodles.  But the best part is the flavor and the moment when your guests, or you sweetie asks you: "Did you make these noodles?" "I did, yes."

You are beaming about now, you're proud of yourself, you forget about the stoplights and being late to all of those appointments, of feeling guilty for watching too much television or hanging out on Pinterest for too many hours and why because you made fresh Noodles and no one does that anymore.

 Give yourself permission to go to that happy place, to take the jump, to make the leap, to pull out the mixer and throw in some flour and forget about what you didn't do and remember what you are gonna do:

Go Make Noodles. 

Why?

Because you can, because you're you.

Because no one ever asks "Why did you make fresh Noodles?" while they eat them.

They just slurp, eat and smile.😋

And you smile back.😃

Happy Noodling!🍜  Happy Ramen Eating!

Ingredients

  • 500g bread flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp Sodium Carbonate Water (kansui)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Step 1

In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk together dry ingredients.

Step 2

Add water and kansui. Mix slowly until incorporated.

Step 3

Using the dough hook for the stand mixer or by hand mix until dough is elastic and when you push your finger into the dough it pops back up.  About 15-20 minutes if by hand. Less with dough hook.  Add water as needed if dough is not coming together or looks dry.

Step 4

Once dough is complete place in fridge for 30 minutes.  Remove from fridge and roll out slightly on floured countertop.  Make sure to make it more rectangle to fit inside of your pasta machine.

Step 5

Starting at Level 1 place dough through machine continuing until you have a few long layers of thin pasta.  I go to level 6 or 7 depending on how thin I want my noodles.  

Step 6

Place through spaghetti cutter in small batch layers. Place on a cookie sheet in piles and dust with flour until using.

Step 7

Boil a pot of water and after begins to boil add a handful of salt.  Toss in noodles and cook for two minutes and remove immediately with a mesh spider.  Add to soup and enjoy!

Tips

  • Wet dough is better than dry dough
  • Use the dough the day of or freeze as noodles for use later on. I place the noodles in piles on the cookie sheet and freeze as piles for 30 minutes then remove and place in ziploc bags in freezer for later use.

 

 

Japanese Pumpkin Stuffed Squash

I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2,000 of something.
— Mitch Hedberg

  One of the best things about squash is it sits around the house waiting for a while and doesn't mind doing so.

 It doesn't shout out I am turning brown and mushy like a pear, I am going to go bad if you don't eat me today.

 It doesn't wrinkle its forehead like lettuce and say I am tired of waiting.

 In fact, it's the most patient vegetable I know.

 And in this world of honking the horn before the light turns green it's nice to have something that doesn't mind waiting for me.

Patience of the Squash makes time slow down and the art of the table become important. 

That's Squash, always there, ready for me.  

I know it is easier to buy pre-cut squash, but something about the smell of roasting squash in the oven on a cool crisp day brings out the: it's officially winter in me.

Don't get me wrong pre-cut is a timesaver and I understand and there are those moments when you want it quickly or just don't want to take the extra time to peel, cut, and roast.

However, do you ever notice that the taste is just not quite right?  In the back of your mind you have a subtle nagging feeling of disappointment. 

That's why sometimes the squash sits and waits for me for me on Sunday.

 It's that day when you probably have a little more time.  It's the day you laze around in your pajamas a little longer, or maybe even, gasp, All Day! 

Gotta love that about a lazy day.

 Maybe for you it's not Sunday, maybe it's Monday, cause the kids are back in school and the house is quiet.

 Or maybe you work weekends and your first day off is Wednesday.  

Whatever day you have to linger a teeny bit longer that's the day I encourage, no nudge you, to take the time cut the squash.

To pull out the seeds. 

To glaze it over with olive oil and finger dust it with salt and pepper.  

To smell the sweet scent of patience roasting in your oven. 

Yes, it's the day to make Japanese Stuffed Squash.

  It is gonna be a good day.  I'm glad we shared it together. 

You, Me and the Squash.

Stuffed Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 kabocha squash aka: japanese pumpkin or 1 acorn squash; cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups of cooked white rice preferably japanese sushi rice
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 thai red chili diced seeds removed for less heat
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped thai basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lime wedges for serving
  • Sriracha for serving 

Instructions:

Step 1:

After removing seeds from squash, spread olive oil over inside of squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit place squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes until squash is tender with a knife inserted.  Set aside.

Step 2:

While squash is roasting in oven, mix with hands baking soda and pork and 1 Tbsp water and set aside while sauteing onions and garlic.  In a large saute pan heat vegetable oil under medium to high heat and then place chopped onion and thai chili and saute for about 5 minutes until translucent. Remember to salt the onions a little while cooking.  Add chopped garlic and cook for about 30 seconds being careful not to burn.  Next place pork and cook until pink is almost removed then stir in fish sauce and brown sugar.  Cook for about 1 minute more and then add cooked rice.  Mix all together and remove from heat.

Step 3: 

Add chopped thai basil and squeeze lime wedge over the top.  Scoop Rice/Pork mixture into each half of squash and serve with lime wedges and Sriracha sauce.

Enjoy bites of squash and bites of rice mixture. YUM!

Tips:

  • Using leftover cooked rice makes this meal simple to prepare.
  • Prepare the squash the day before and reheat before serving.
  • Sprinkle a bit of cayenne as well as salt and pepper over the squash to kick it up a notch!

 

 

 

 

What to do with Leftover Mashed Potatoes?

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found
— Calvin Trillin

Lamb and Lenti Shepherd's Pie

To be perfectly honest I have always had an upturned nose 👃 to Leftover's.  Maybe because it always made me think of the spaghetti sauce in the fridge that was turning green that often just had a bit of scraping done before it was served again.  Or maybe it's because pizza that most people love cold and leftover always has a rubber in the mouth feel for my palate. 👅  And then their is always the "You're just a snob"  😏because the rest of the world loves all things on day two.  

It is an unsettling thing being the only person at a dinner table who has no interest in taking that super yummy plate of food home but knowing in my heart of hearts I just don't want to look at it the next day.  Can you imagine if I ever went to this New York Restaurant?  I would be the only person saying, Thanks but I will skip the  le gourmet doggie bag.  Yikes.  Who came up with the term doggie bag anyway?  It screams at me "this is food for my dog or for me?"  So when presented with...

 Cold...

Gelatinized...

Gray matter...

it doesn't appeal.  I have even known myself to take something home from someone's home because of, yep you got it, peer pressure.  Knowing in my heart of hearts that I won't eat it, touch it, open it, or go near it until I have that weekly let's make sure the refrigerator is clean day.  

Therefore, if you, like me  know full well that the cold lumpy white glob of mashed potatoes is gonna hit the trash in a week this post is for you.  I am helping you face the fear, confront the elephant, take on the tiger...okay, I have run out of metaphors.

As much as I hate leftovers, I hate wasting food as well.  Hungry people around the world always need to be fed so throwing out healthy food tugs on my heart as it should no doubt.  Overcoming the leftover battle as become the Great War in our house.  Except when I have company who love taking leftovers home...I usually push that one first. 😉  

The overwhelming urge to eat "new food" has made my strategy for preparation begin to change.  I don't come from a culinary background of making paté so this new resolve to "use up all the food" as had me experimenting in the kitchen.

Admittedly a friend of mine who is vegetarian made something similar to this Shepherd's Pie and didn't of course use meat so I went from memory on what I remembered and added my favorite meat lamb.  Beef can be substituted but if you have access to ground lamb it's a favorite in our house.

 So here goes:  Leftovers made Lovely!  

And if you make it the mashed potatoes from scratch and don't use leftovers don't worry, your secret is safe with me. 😉

Ingredients:

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for Shepherd's Pie

Mashed Potatoes:

  •  1 pound Russet potatoes peeled and chopped (if you are not using leftover mashed potatoes)
  • 3 oz Butter cubed
  • 1 oz Cream, Half and Half or Buttermilk
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Lentils:

  • 1 cup dried lentils (soak in water for at least 30 min)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 onion 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Lamb or Beef:

  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 red bell pepper diced and seeds removed
  • 1 yellow or white onion diced
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chopped mint 
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chopped dill

How to make Mashed Potatoes instructions (Unless using leftovers) :

Step 1

Rinse potatoes under cold running water agitating in a pan and draining until water runs clear and is not cloudy. This helps decrease any extra starch which will make them gummy. Don't skip this step!

Step 2

Cover potatoes with cold water in a pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook until tender with a fork, usually about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Have butter chopped up into cubes and cream at room temp.  Drain potatoes. Using a potato ricer push potatoes through ricer and place back in warm pot. Add butter and cream to potatoes and stir just until incorporated.  Add Salt and White Pepper if you have it to taste.  Set aside.

How to Make Lentils:

Step 1:

After soaking lentil, place in pot with 2 cups of water or chicken broth, 1 bay leaf and half of an onion and 1 tsp of olive oil.  Bring to a boil then, simmer lentils for 15 minutes or until tender but not falling apart.  

Step 2:

Remove  lentils from stovetop to stop cooking.

How to Make Lamb:

Step 1:

While lentils are cooking, add 1/4 tsp of baking soda and 1 Tbsp water to pound of lamb or beef and blend with your hand and let sit in a separate bowl. Preheat broiler  oven to High.

Step 2:

Using a large saute pan heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and then saute chopped onions, carrots for five minutes or until translucent.  Make sure to salt vegetables with a pinch of kosher salt.  Next add garlic and saute for about 30 sec to 1 minute until smell is released but don't burn the garlic. Add lamb and break up lamb into small pieces in the pan.  While cooking add cumin and coriander.  Cook lamb until just slightly pink.  Add lentils to mixture and if any extra liquid from lentils add up to 2 Tbsp but no more. Remove from heat and fold in fresh herbs of mint, dill and parsley.

Step  3:

Place warm lamb/beef and lentil dish on the bottom of a 8x10 pan and spread over the entire pan covering the bottom of the pan.  While still hot place mashed potatoes over the lentil and lamb or beef filling and spread using a flat spatula until lamb filling is covered evenly and smoothly.

Step 3

Add an X to the top of the middle of the potatoes allowing the lamb/beef filling to heat if using cold mashed potatoes.  Cook in center of oven under the broiler until mashed potatoes are lightly browned and lamb/beef filling is warm.  Approx. 8-10 minutes.

 

Enjoy and remember you saved yourself some time, some money, and  without a doubt made your momma proud!😘😉

Tips:

  • Meat blended with the baking soda will not add flavor but cuts cooking time and creates less liquid so that meat is not being steamed. 
  • Garlic mashed potatoes will work well with this as well.
  • It is okay to use mashed potatoes that have not been put through a ricer, it may just not look as smooth but will still taste delicious.
  • If you have a large flat bottom steel pan this works even better than a casserole pan as it heats the bottom filling nicely as shown in the photo below.
  • ENJOY with a bottle of Light Red wine such as a Barbera from Italy 🍷😋
Red Wine and Comforting Shepherd's Pie

Red Wine and Comforting Shepherd's Pie