Shepard’s Pie

October 4, 2012

…The Peanut Gallery was browsing the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated – which, ironically, he as Resident Eater avidly reads and I, as Resident Cook, barely glance through.


Thus it was that he authoritatively stated, impressed, that the classic Shepard’s Pie takes around 5 hours to make.

Now, soft: he quite often receives this classic Shepard’s Pie in his very own domain: it is part of my rather extensive culinary repertoire.

And for those ‘not in the know’, said Pie has a number of variations (i.e. depends on leftovers) but typically consists of ground beef (or lamb or chicken) or chunks of meat, mixed with spices (i.e. Worcestershire Sauce, herbs, wine or tomatoes, as one wishes) and diced carrots and sometimes peas, plopped unceremoniously into a pie pan and topped with mashed spuds, then baked.

…Obviously NOT horse, cat or dog meat!                                                                    Too much CAPTURING involved…

So how one can spend FIVE HOURS producing the above was waaay beyond me.

Some immediate theories posited by The Cook (i.e. moi):

1.    Cook’s Illustrated is referring to a lesser-known Shepard’s Pie involving herding, capturing and reducing to pie form the Shepard Himself. I, for one, can easily see how five hours would be involved in THIS endeavor.

NOT pie material…too crusty…

2.    Cook’s Illustrated is referring to the Julia Child version, which involves capturing the meat, dressing it, growing the herbs and spices, locating truly organic veggies at the local Farmer’s Market, and growing the potatoes associated with the crust. In which case – 5 hours is the ‘quick’ version of the recipe!

3.    SOMEBODY in the kitchen has made a silk purse outta a sow’s ear and is putting out the legend of a time-consuming Pie whilst hitting da Jack Daniels after shooing the Resident Eaters from the kitchen.

When I went screaming on about the time factor involved in producing an (admittedly) traditionally budget-oriented dish, TPG just shrugged.

It, after all, came from the horse’s mouth itself: Cook’s Illustrated.

What do I know?

Sounds like Bull to me.

I just sling it and bake it: I don’t produce it!

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