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SHEPHERDS POODLE PIE 
This is a genuine British recipe, cooked historically over 3 generations since the 1939-1945 War.

good quality olive oil
1 lb. (500 grams) lean steak mince (chopped beef)
1 large onion
1 large carrot
2 sticks celery
2 leeks
2 cloves garlic
chunk of good quality smoked bacon
1 cup (250 ml) Red Wine (best you can afford)
half tube of tomato concentrate
2 cans tomatoes (deseeded)
2 bay leaves
good pinch of Herbes de Provence (mixed herbs if not)
2 cups (500mls) chicken stock

Very finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, one of the leeks, garlic and smoked bacon. Warm a large sauté pan with a lid, and add a good splash of olive oil.

Gently sauté the above mixture until the vegetables have golden edges; add the steak mince and continue until all has separated into a very fine mix and is beginning to stick a little. Add the tomato concentrate and mix through and cook out for a few minutes more.

Stir in the red wine to deglaze the pan base, then add the canned tomatoes, and chicken stock to cover. Relax almost there, pour yourself a glass of red wine left over as a reward.

Add bay leaves and Herbes de Provence to pan. Season to taste with salt and copious amounts of freshly grated black pepper. Bring up to heat and simmer gently with lid on for 2-3 hours.

Cool and refrigerate for 24 hours, honestly, it matures.

To prepare pie:

About 2 lb of (1kg) freshly made mashed potatoes (but it needs to be a floury variety).

Add butter to taste and season, with no liquid added, so a very dry mixture. Spoon meat mix into a large pie dish and cover with the mashed potato.

Finely slice the remaining leek into rings and arrange on top of the potato mash. Grate on a sprinkling of good mature cheddar cheese, or Parmesan, or a combination of them both, as I do.

Bake in a medium oven until bubbling and the leeks are beginning to brown on the edges.

Enjoy and drink responsibly!

Submitted by: David Perman
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