Somethings just taste better after they meld and mellow. Soup, chili, shepherd’s pie, spice cookies, fruit cake, etc. Sometimes the change is so dramatic, it’s really best not to taste the creation hot from the fire, but I do it anyway.
Case in point: Keifel and I made shepherd’s pie last night. A huge shepherd’s pie. Not terribly traditional in that we boiled up Yukon gold potatoes for the mash, to which I added ludicrous amounts of butter, sour cream and a heavy dose of garlic paste. It also contained ground, dark meat turkey rather than lamb or beef. Does that make it turkeyherd pie? I chopped onions, celery and carrots and sauteed those in some canola oil until the onions were meltingly translucent but not browned, added some minced garlic and maybe a tablespoon of dried thyme that instantly perfumed the kitchen. Keifel added the turkey to brown.
We layered it in my favorite baking dish, a vintage 70s oval, deep brown with that mottled, dripping rim in pale cream flecked with more brown. After smoothing down the mashed potatoes, I ran a fork the length of the dish in parallel train tracks to make little valleys and peaks to crisp and brown, dotted it with butter and popped it into the oven.
Accompanied with a salad of baby greens and bottled ceasar dressing (Newman’s Own), it was great way to celebrate St. Paddy’s without getting inebriated on Guinness.