Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cottage Pie

This was a lot tougher to re-work than I expected. Normally I put seeded, diced tomato for freshness and lots of Worcestershire in the beef and gravy to give it a deep umami flavor, but since they're both high in glutamic acid (anchovies in the Worcestershire) and not allowed on the GARD, it was a challenge to be sure. Diced red pepper and a hint of cumin and Tabasco did the trick. You can't actually taste the cumin or cayenne, but the flavor intensity builds as you eat more, so be cautious when you're tasting and adjusting the seasonings. Serves 4

1 lb lean pasture raised ground beef
1 small yellow onion, small dice
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c (about 1/2 medium) red bell pepper, small dice
1-1/4 c roasted stock,beef, lamb or chicken
2 TB potato flour
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3-4 shakes Tabasco
3 medium* Yukon Gold or Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1/4 c whole coconut milk
Mild paprika

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in the EVOO until soft. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces. Add the garlic, salt & pepper and brown the beef, cooking until all the liquid is gone and the meat has started to caramelize. Since we can't use tomato paste or anchovy to add umami, we have to make up for it by caramelizing the meat (and by using a stock from roasted bones).

>While the meat is browning, boil the potatoes in a medium pot of salted water about 10-15 min until very soft when checked with a fork. Drain and mash with enough coconut milk to make them very soft and smooth. Taste for salt. Cover and set aside.
*3 medium potatoes is plenty. It always looks like you won't have enough, but if you make any more, your ratio of potatoes to meat will be waaaay off. Please trust me on this :-).

Now preheat your oven to Broil.

When the meat has browned, stir in the red pepper. Sprinkle the potato flour over the meat and cook for just a minute.

Add the stock 1/3 at a time, stirring and cooking until it's thickened before adding more. The gravy should be very thick but not gluey. Pour into a small casserole dish.

Drop spoonfuls of mashed potato on top of the beef mixture until it's completely covered. We like the tops of the potatoes to brown, so the rougher the texture, the better the results. Sprinkle with paprika and put under the broiler about 5-8 minutes until the top of the potatoes have a light crust and the tips are browned.

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