Shepherd’s Pie with Curried Meat

This is interesting. It has an Asian twist to it with the addition of curry powder and spices such as cumin and coriander (found in Indian cuisine). I adjusted the portion so that it would cater to just the two of us and perhaps, some leftover for tonight. But the hubs kept eating and I think it means the dish is nice and that we’ll have little left for dinner. I’m not complaining. It’s worth all the trouble to prepare the dish when someone can appreciate.

As usual, I don’t like to use broiling because of some bad experiences with using it. The potatoes are not golden brown as can be seen from the pic. Nonetheless, it’s still delish.

Source: The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser
Serves 4 to 6

6 white potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp  curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup crushed canned imported tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp sugar
freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked fresh/frozen green peas
1/2 cup hot whole milk, plus more if needed
3 tbsp unsalted butter

1. Put the potatoes into a pot and add water to cover and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender to the core when pierced with a fork.

2. While the potatoes cook, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted. Add the curry powder, cumin, and coriander, and cook briefly, stirring. Add the meat and cook, stirring down with the side of a heavy kitchen spoon to break up the lumps, until it’s lost to raw colour. Add the tomatoes, broth, sugar and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Heat the broiler. Drain the potatoes and put them through a food mill or a potato ricer (or just use fork!) back into the hot pot. Stir in the peas and heat briefly. Add the hot milk, 2 tbsp butter, and pepper, preferably white, beating with a wooden spoon. If the mixture is too thick, add more hot milk.

4. Spoon the piping-hot curried meat into a 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Top with the hot mashed potatoes. Smooth over the top. Dot with the remaining tbsp of butter.

5. Run the mixture under the broiler until the top is golden brown.

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