Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday : not really shepherd's pie

Yesterday we needed to figure out a good use for the pieces of veal leftover from making essence. I figured something with mashed potatoes and cheese would be good, but somehow the idea wasn't coming together. Andrea piped up and suggested that I do it like shepherd's pie. That clicked!

Start with some pre-cooked veal pieces. Cut them into small pieces, add some veal stock, minced green garlic, a bit of veal essence, and a splash of white wine. Reduce the liquid by about half, add a bit of tomato paste, some finely chopped rehydrated porcinis (along with some of their soaking liquid) and reduce a bit more. Thicken with potato starch. Season well with salt and pepper. Transfer to a buttered gratin dish, add a layer of mashed potatoes, top with grated gruyere, and bake at 210C until the cheese starts to brown.

This was a very successful little improvisation. The veal filling was basically concentrated umami (essence! tomato! porcini!) and was well balanced by the potatoes and cheese.

We also had cooked spinach tossed with a bit of cider vinegar and a big green salad.

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