this series called food/feeling is where i’m going to introduce a dish and a photo of a feeling it invokes. enjoy!
1 lb lean ground beef
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1½ tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup Worcester sauce
3 tablespoons HP sauce
3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Olive or canola oil for frying
For the topping:
3 large cloves garlic, whole, skin on
5 evenly-sized large floury potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into halves
2 tablespoons Natural Greek yoghurt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
A few extra fresh thyme sprigs
Extra Parmesan for topping and serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic cloves onto a small baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft on the inside (test with a small , sharp knife) remove and allow to cool then squeeze out pulp and discard outer paper.
Fill a medium-large pot half-full with cold water, add a good pinch of salt then add in the halved potatoes. Bring to the boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium-high and cook at a high simmer until potatoes as fully soft in the middle when tested with a knife. Note: to ensure really creamy mash, always make sure your potatoes are thoroughly cooked, if they remain even ever so slightly firm in the middle you’ll never get them smooth, as you’ll just end up with tiny lumps dotted throughout the mash.
Drain potatoes, tip them back into the pot and using a potato masher, break up the cooked potatoes, then pass through a Tamil sieve or the finest setting on a potato ricer until totally smooth. Add in the milk, yoghurt, cooled roasted garlic pulp, and grated Parmesan and whip together to combine thoroughly along with a very good seasoning of salt and black pepper. Transfer to a large piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle (the one I used measured 1cm/0.4”) and set aside until required.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, deep frying pan or saucepan. Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to sauté over medium heat for a further 5-7 minutes before adding in the beef, break the mince up using the end of a spatula and combine all together. Fry until meat has browned then add the stock; tomato paste; HP sauce; Worcester sauce, fresh thyme leaves and stir all together. Cook for 30-40 minutes to infuse all flavours together and sauce has thickened. Fill baking dishes (this quantity will fill a single dish measuring 24 x 18cm/7 x 9.5” or 4 smaller 10cm/4” ramekin-style pots).
Pipe mashed potato onto top of meat filling, sprinkle with a little extra grated Parmesan, a seasoning of black pepper and a garnish of a fresh thyme sprig, then bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until top of piped potato is golden brown.
Serve hot with extra grated Parmesan (optional).