Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage and Scallions (p.296) and Shepherd's Pie (p. 102)

First, how do you keep all of the blogs you like to read straight? I have a ton that I like to read but I forget about them! So are there any good gadgets to keep them organized? I kinda like igoogle but if there is something better, I would like to know about.

Second, some people were telling me that the pictures on this blog weren't showing up for them--I don't know why, they always show up on my anyone else having this problem? I recognize that I'm not a wordsmith, so the pictures are important :)

Third, you don't have to have a blogger username to comment, so comment freely! I love reading them :)

I decided that Josh and I were going to have "Pub night" so, obviously, that means some sort of meat pie. I was content with cottage pie, because I don't always like ground lamb, but Josh decided he wanted to be a purist, and go for lamb--so, shepard's pie (cottage pie is the same thing but with beef--obvious, you aren't a shepard if you don't have sheep!).

Although Shepherd's Pie (p. 102) is a complicated recipe, it isn't very difficult. First, you boil and mash some potatoes. Every time I make mashed potatoes I wonder why I don't make them more often--they are so easy and I like them so much! I also couldn't find my ricer so they had to be mashed with the smasher. I bought my ricer at a antique market in FL (there are dozens of awesome kitchen gadgets at antique shops), and it's about a billion years old, but it has character and I like it. That being said, it seems to have disappeared--maybe it went to find it's old family.

Josh is always in charge of the mashing, he really takes joy in it. I think he works out some aggression that way.

The next step is to make a mirepoix. I think a mirepoix is the base of at least half of the recipes in this cookbook. The recipe does say chopped instead of diced, so this isn't an example of my terrible knife skills (well, not this particular picture).

You mix in the lamb (you can use cooked lamb but I can almost guarantee that we will never have any leftover cooked lamb), add broth, and spices. When this is done, you have the base to the recipe! Again, the recipe has a lot of steps and produces a bunch of dishes to be washed but doesn't really require much talent (my kind of recipe!).

The meat mixture is put into a casserole dish, with the mashed potatoes on top. It said to make peaks in the mashed potatoes--I have no idea how to do that, so mine were peak-less. Mmmm....and butter on the top...

Now, this recipe looks pretty before you break into it but it doesn't cut easily. Even so, it was really good.

The recipe is online.

I also decided to make Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage and Scallions (p.296), which, if fried, is known as "bubble and squeak" which is a great name! Now, I have no idea how or why you would fry this concoction, so mine neither bubbled nor squeaked. If I ever go to the UK, it's first on my list of things to try (and fish and chips...I LOVE fried fish more than I should). I've learned during this cooking experiment (cooking through TJOC) that I really like cooked cabbage, which I didn't know. And cabbage is EXTREMELY cheap, which is awesome. And everyone likes mashed potatoes! But scallions--not only do I not keep scallions on hand but there weren't any at the grocery store.

I decided to cut them out (I know they're in the title but I wasn't going to search the town for the stupid things!) so I added some garlic instead.

One of the first instructions in the recipe is to core the cabbage. How does one core cabbage? Where is the core? I opened the cabbage up, looked into it, didn't see a core, and randomly cut some parts out of the middle. It didn't seem to matter or impact the recipe at all.

So, to begin, you pretty much put some potatoes (I used Yukon Golds, of course) in a pot, add water, cut some cabbage, and layer it on top. Then you boil this for a while.

It's really hard to fit that many potatoes and cabbage pieces into a pot.

I used heavy cream instead of half-and-half or milk, plus a full stick of butter (obviously not a low fat recipe) and the recipe was a little runny. It was delicious anyway. You end up mashing the whole mixture, which is fairly easy. Apparently cabbage mashes down easier than potatoes so the whole thing is fairly easy.

It was great although it made a huge amount which we ate for about a week afterwards.


  1. That shepherd's pie looks delish! As do the mashed potatoes with cabbage (and garlic). Really anything with mashed potatoes is a good thing.

    As for blog organizing, I use Google Reader and I love it. It let's you organize your blogs by categories, and let's you see only new posts so you stay current.

    I'm enjoying watching all your recipe experiments!

  2. Ooh that looks yum, I wonder if I could try the shepherd's pie w/ ground turkey. (I know not quite the same!)

    For blogs I use bloglines but I've also heard good things about Google Reader.

  3. This being nearly St. Patrick's Day I'm going to a potluck tonight and am taking Shepherd's Pie (someone else is bringing a Cottage Pie it seems...she doesn't like lamb!). I had heard of mixing cabbage and mashed potatoes together; imagine my surprise when searching the web for that recipe I found this blog entry with both yummy looking recipes! And I find you live in too! I contribute to a blog with my daughter who lives in Australia called "Pass The Beans Please"; when you get finished with the JOC book, check us out! I'm off to peel potatoes!

  4. How exciting! Someone found me using Google!

  5. On the shepherd's pie - it's even better if you bake it for 20-25 minutes in the oven before serving. Makes all the flavors come together & creates a nice brown top on the potatoes.

  6. At my place of employment, they have a "cafeteria", free of charge for employees.... and they sometimes serve a delicious dish, they call Kailkenny. Now, being Irish, but having never heard of this dish, I Googled it... found that it is in fact NOT Kailkenny, and found your blog! Very interesting... I will POLITELY inform them that they need to change the name to Bubble and Squeak!!! Sounds more fun, anyway!!! Thank you!!!

  7. This is really strange but you mentioned something about the pics not showing. They have always come thru for me except today the last 3 were gone!!!!

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