Sunday, September 16, 2007

Specially for Aunty

Aunty Evil! This one’s for you! For this shot my little spiny crablike orb weaver friend coyly showed me a little leg, proving that there is indeed “a spider in there somewhere!”
But, so’s not to traumatize you too much, I’m also putting the recipe you asked for on here……

Shepherd’s Pie with Mushroom Gravy

8 medium potatoes
3-4 Tblsp butter or margarine
1/4 to 1/2 cup warm milk
S &P to taste

Cook and mash potatoes. Add butter, milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Saute 1 large chopped onion and
1 clove garlic, minced, in additional butter until soft.
Add I ½ lbs ground beef [or whatever meat you wish to use] and brown well.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1 bay leaf
½ tsp. thyme
¼ cup tomato paste

Cover and cook over low-med heat for about 20 mins.

Discard bay leaf.

Stir in a handful of chopped fresh parsley.

Spoon mixture into a greased casserole.

Spread mashed potatoes evenly over the top.

Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Dot with small pieces of butter.

Broil for 5 mins.

Mushroom Gravy [optional, but yummy]

2 Tblsp butter
3/4 cup onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 lb mushrooms, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 ½ cups canned tomatoes, chopped
Cook the onions and garlic in butter.
Add mushrooms and continue cooking until liquid evaporates.
Add s&p and wine.
Cook a few mins. More.
Add tomatoes and simmer 15 mins.
Add two Tblsp butter and thje heavy cream.
Warm thoroughly, but do not allow to boil.
Serve over shepherd’s pie.

When we were in school we rode our bikes home for lunch every day. To come in the back door and smell Shepherd’s Pie in the oven -----hmmmm! My mother was a great cook, but this is not her recipe. I think I clipped it from a newspaper eons ago. I certainly am not claiming to have invented it. Of course I take liberties now. Time was when, if I didn’t have all the ingredients, I just wouldn’t make it. Having children took the starch out of me and I started improvising. Now a recipe is just a rough guide! Substitute, eliminate what you don’t like or don't have, add whatever is lurking in the back of the fridge, and most of all, relax. Cooking isn't rocket science. Since I realised that I've had much more fun. And don’t forget to call me when you make it so I can come eat with you. Because it always tastes better when you haven’t had to do all the work yourself!


meggie said...

Oh YUM. I will definitely make this to try. And I love mushrooms.

Tanya Brown said...

Now I'M traumatized. My brain couldn't quite make the leap from large, meaty-looking spiders to recipes, and ... never mind. I'll spare you.

That's a very nice-looking spider, though. I'll bet it wreaks havoc on the local fly population.

riseoutofme said...

Hmmm ... I remember it too!

Birdydownunder said...

that is utterly amazing...the spider not the pie...I too was brought up Shepherds Pie.

Aunty Evil said...

Oh my god, I nearly fainted when I saw that thing! It just popped up on my screen. MDH came running because I screamed.

And now it's bedtime, so I will probably lay in bed feeling creepy crawlies running all over me.

Thanks Molly.

Recipe sounds yum though!

jkhenson said...

Have fun in the kitchen? A recipe is a guide? Not written in stone tablets?? :) I certainly need to learn those lessons. I am indeed tied to following recipes exactly, and stressing about it the entire way! This Shepherd's pie looked delicious, though!
And I love the spider! Such character added to the finesse of the incredible web!
Thanks for sharing, Molly! Hope all is going well!

Pam said...

I just can't believe that that's a real creature. We just don't get such beasties over here in the cool land of tartan and haggis. I think he's plastic, myself. You got him in a cracker. (Do Americans call them "crackers"?)

What does "broil" mean? I need a translation.

thailandchani said...

Mmm. Yum! I'll have to give that one a try this winter. :)



Thimbleanna said...

Eeewwww -- that odd looking thing really was a spider! I've never seen one quite so ... well interesting? Yuck! And THANKS for the Shepherd's Pie recipe. After the first time I had SP on a trip to England, I came home, found a recipe and have been making it ever since. And my boys hate it now, 'cause I love it so much and made it all the time. It's Shepherd's Pie season soon -- I'm thinking maybe if I try your yummy version and don't call it that, they'll think it's something else! ;-) It sounds absolutely delicious!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad that spider is not an ingredient!