fontas food

eating my way through suburbia

Monday, October 08, 2007

November 1, 2005

Earlier this week, I pondered making a shepherd's pie sort concoction in a springform pan. Then I thought, "Oooooo. Wouldn't it be cool if it were in individual ring molds?" And then I doubted my ability to make it all stick together and filed the idea in the back of my brain.

Two days later, the latest issue of Saveur arrived and, lo and behold!, there was my idea on page 59! Theirs was made with pork confit and was decidedly French but it showed me that my idea wasn't completely out to lunch.

Yesterday, I devised my plan. I would make the beef as in the draadjesvlees below but with a change in the seasonings. The cloves in the dish created a new flavour for us; I quite liked it but it didn't agree with Wayde.

And so I thought, "What are the seasonings I associate most with shepherd's pie and meat pies?"

Mushrooms, onion, and pepper, of course!

So, the method for cooking the beef as exactly as the Dutch do it but using the more English seasonings of 2 bay leaves, 10 peppercorns, and one onion, quartered.

Once the beef was done, it was browned in a hot oven for a few minutes then allowed to cool. Once cool, it was shredded and set aside.

The shredded beef would be moistened with gravy made from the braising liquid and topped with sauteed mushrooms. The mushrooms in turn had been "thickened" by sprinkling them with a tablespoon of flour and then adding just a wee bit of the braising liquid.

Gravy was made by completely removing all the fat from the braising liquid and then thickening it with a flour and water slurry. This had to cook for a fair while (30 minutes?) to get rid of the flour taste. It was also fairly pale and there were no pan drippings to give it colour.

Burgess Gravy Browning to the rescue! (I've since learned that gravy browning is not readily available in the US so I guess it's a good thing I had a bottle stashed in the cupboard!)

The mushrooms would be packed on top of the beef and then topped with mashed potatoes.

But what to cook it in? I didn't have ring molds or even small springform pans. No problem...we'll just go to the store and get some!

Ha! Two stores later, we decided to head to the big-box home improvement store and buy a length of stovepipe. Once back home, it was cut into 3.5" lengths.

Do-it-yourself ring molds!

The assembled pies were baked for around 45 mintues in a medium oven. And the results?

See for yourself...

Stovepipe Pie

Even came in at 11 points.


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