Monday, April 1, 2013

Leftover's (quite litterally) Shephard's pie

I found this absolutely fantastic gadget at the local junk-shop the other day.  It's a Universal Food Chopper and it is just the tool I've been looking for.

It looks like a meat grinder, but it does so much more.  It can chop, crumble, and make a paste out of most anything.  What it excels at is giving a whole new life to leftovers.

Which is a good thing because in this household, we are notoriously bad at eating up leftover roast and veg.

Universal Food Chopper
Leftover steamed veg usually go to the chickens, but instead I decided to keep them and make a shepherds pie from them and the roast.  I used the coarse plate on the chopper to pass the broccoli, cauliflower and carrot through.  Then I passed an onion through it.  This all took less time than it would have to find and set up my blitzer.

Next I more-or-less separated the meat from the gravy and passed the meat through the food chopper.  It was a roast lamb shoulder that had been browned and then cooked with garlic in a puddle of red wine.  The juices from the roast combined with the wine to make a fantastic gravy.  Oh, I put the garlic through the Universal too.

Last of all, I took a few slices of sourdough bread, chopped them up into about 1 inch cubes and passed them through the chopper to sop up all the juices.

In a large bowl, I mixed the chop stuff with the gravy and added some wine or beer or it might have been apple cider - whatever I was drinking at that time.  I even threw in a small handful of frozen peas and corn because I worry that we don't eat enough veg.  Salt and Pepper, and if I had thought about it, I would have added a finely chopped sage leaf.  (If you don't have enough gravy  you could mix a stock cube or a spoon of Vegemite with half a cup of hot water, then add to the mix).

Put filling into your baking dish, cover with mashed potatoes (leftovers or fresh or a blend of both).

These are mini-pies to go into the freezer for future dinners - there's only so much shepherds pie one family can eat at a time.

We put goat cheese and paprika on top.

Since everything is already cooked, you just need to heat it up enough so that the lovely juices bubble up and hopefully add a slight flavour to the mashed potatoes.  Somewhere between 30 min and an hour.

I apologize for this photo, but keep in mind, most of the family is just really hungry and quite often they serve themselves before I have a chance to find my camera.  But you get the general idea: chopped up leftovers in a gravy on the bottom and mashed potatoes on top.

It's a very British pie to make Mrs Beeton Proud - and is a True Shepherds' Pie.  It was made of lamb for the shepherd to eat while tending to the sheep.

two new additions to the farm

Affordable cooking: Yes!  All leftovers that may or may not have died a lonely death in the back of the fridge.  You can bulk this out with extra veg or even a bit more bread in a pinch.  It's great for feeding company that is here for a few days in a row, so they don't get board of eating the same leftover roast beast day in and out.

Allergy Friendly:  Yes!  Change the ingredients and sauce to suit your needs.  Allergic to potatoes?  Use bread dough or pastry dough for the topping.

Healthy: Yes!  It's a well balanced meal and you can always serve it with a salad.

It is NOT ACCEPTABLE to serve this to your vegan friends.

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