45 – minute farmer’s pie
What is farmer’s pie? Sometimes called shepherd’s pie, it is a dish made with meat or poultry stew covered with mashed potatoes then baked until the top of the layer of mashed potatoes is lightly browned. It is always interesting to mix different meats and try them with different sauces. Farmer’s pie is also a nice alternative for serving mashed potatoes instead of as the usual side dish for fried or grilled meat or chicken.
So, does it really take only 45 minutes to cook this dish? Yep, minus preparation time. When I made this last Sunday, I was in a hurry because we were going out in the afternoon and I didn’t want a mountain of dishes to wash after lunch. I used instant mashed potatoes. You know, those dried flakes that come in boxes or pouches. You just mix them with melted butter, hot water, milk, salt and pepper and voila! Mashed potatoes in a flash. Of course, there’s nothing like fresh mashed potatoes. My two previous versions of farmer’s pie (here and here) have some pretty detailed instructions on how to prepare real mashed potatoes.
- enough instant mashed potato flakes to make 4 cups of prepared mashed potatoes
- butter, hot water, milk, salt, pepper and chopped parsley
- 3/4 k. of ground sirloin
- 6 regular hotdogs
- 1 large carrot
- 2 pimientoes
- 1 tbsp. of finely minced garlic
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 c. of tomato paste
- 3/4 c. of beef broth
- 4 tbsps. of olive oil
- 1 tbsp. of chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
- salt and pepper
- Prepare the instant mashed potatoes according to package directions using the butter, hot water, milk, salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley for added flavor and color. For easier handling when assembling the farmer’s pie, a soft (instead of a stiff) mashed potato mixture is ideal. Just add more milk to get the right consistency.
- Make the stew.
- Peel the carrot and chop.
- Core and deseed the pimientoes and chop.
- Cut the hotdogs into thin slices.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the ground sirloin and cook until lightly browned. Stir to break up any lumps.
- Add the minced garlic, chopped onion, carrot and pimientoes.
- Stir in the tomato paste.
- Pour in the beef broth.
- Add the basil.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the sliced hotdogs. Stir to blend well.
- Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Pour the meat mixture into an overproof dish. Cover with the prepared mashed potatoes. Bake in a preheated 180oC oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Best served with bread and butter.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6