Friday, October 22, 2010

FFwD - Hachis Parmentier



You'll have some tea... are you sure you don't want any?
Aw go on, you'll have some.
Go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on GO ON!
Mrs Doyle (Pauline McLynn), Father Ted


Shepherds pie was a dish that my Mum made often when we were growing up. I adore shepherds pie because it is warm and comforting, and reminds me of growing up. Accordingly, I was pleased when this week's
French Friday with Dorie pick, chosen by Dorie herself, was shepherds pie - err, well, hachis parmentier to be exact (or French shepherds pie).


I was tempted to make the "quick" version of this pie, using ground beef and thereby eliminating around 2 hours from the prep time. I started making this on Monday night, having been away for the weekend, and the thought of putting so much effort into a weekday supper was not appealing to me. This is where the Mrs Doyle quote comes in. My mind was urging me not to take shortcuts, and was jollying me along to make the full recipe to the refrain of Mrs Doyle's "go on go on go on go go on go on ...". Well, the Mrs Doyle in my head won, and I chopped vegetables, then boiled chuck steak for an hour and a half, and cut it into tiny pieces on Monday night.



On Tuesday night, I finished off the hachis parmentier by squishing sausage meat from its casings, and heating it up with tomato paste and the bullion and beef from the night before. I used lean beef sausages with Asian herbs and spices from the local Safeway (primarily because they had about half the fat of regular sausages). I then peeled, boiled and mashed almost a kilo of potatoes, mixed them with light cooking cream, skim milk and margarine, and spread it on top of the meat in a casserole dish before topping it with grated tasty cheese (sorry Dorie, it was Devondale Light 'n' Tasty - Aussie, and cheaper and lower cal than the French alternatives).



Despite my calorie saving initiatives, this was a very tasty dish - much tastier than the ground beef versions that I know and love. The creamy potatoes proved a perfect foil for the spicy, tomato-kissed meat mixture beneath. (I loved the mashed potatoes so much that I had to resist eating them out of the pot!) Accordingly, this dish was worth the effort. However, my tip if you venture to make it is to start early in the day, or spread it out over two days, making the bullion and beef on one night and finishing it off the next.



To see how everyone else went with hachis parmentier, visit the LYL section of the
French Fridays with Dorie website.

28 comments:

Nichi said...

looks yummy!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

This looks so delicious. The weather is getting cold and this meal would warm me right through :)

Tammy said...

you are so good! I am so lazy!!! I made the fast mince version. we still enjoyed it, but yours looks great!

lifeisfull said...

I took the shortcut. Good on you for go, go, going! I'm sure it was very well worth the effort.

jillbert said...

It does sound like a lot of work, but I'm glad that it was worth the effort. It looks tasty!

Judy said...

While I had originally planned to do the long version, I ended up going with the quick version. It was really, really delicious! Good for you for taking the time.

Pamela said...

Tomato kissed beef! What a terrific description. And I agree about those rich potatoes! Well done.

Good Bite In said...

It brought back memories of growing up for me too. I hadn't had a shepherd's or cottage pie since childhood.

S.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love Shepherd's pie for the exact same reason. It really defines comfort food! :D

Jayne said...

I had the same struggle not to eat the mashed potatoes out of the pot! But I guess the patience paid off. I made a sort of shorter long version, which was lovely. Yours looks fabulous!

Mary said...

Two spoons up from me to putting a perfect literary quote in your post...nice work.

yummychunklet said...

I applaud you for making the full recipe instead of the shortcut way! I'd never made hachis parmentier, so the idea of the full version intimidated me just a bit. But, now that it seems very worth the wait, I'm open to the idea of trying the full recipe next time!

Heavenly Housewife said...

OMG I love love love Father Ted, its one of my favourite shows. Hubby and I once saw "Mrs Doyle" in Covent Gardens in a store called Accesorize.
Shepherds pie is a great warming dish. I should make it soon now that its getting so cool outside.
*kisses* HH

Audrey said...

I was surprised at how good the cube steak version was, because it certainly doesn't look promising! I'll probably make the quick version in the future just because this one is so time-consuming, but I'm glad I tried it this way first.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

You know what they say about patience being a virtue... Looks like you got your reward! Delish indulgence of the best kind ;)

Karen said...

This was a delicious dish! Glad you didn't shortcut this one. :)

Clivia said...

We liked this one too, though I'd never cooked with sausage meat before.

Serene said...

I'm so glad your light version worked out! One benefit from doing the long version is I still have a cup or two of beef stock that I can use in another meal this week.

Amanda said...

This is certainly a dish that the slightly hirsute Mrs. Doyle would very much approve of!
I really must get hold of Dorrie's book!
Father Ted is my husband's favourite TV show and he never tires of watching the reruns!

Jencrafted said...

The extra work was well worth it. Your dish looks lovely and glad you enjoyed the results. I'd say this recipe is a keeper, for sure!

Sis. Boom. said...

I'm like you and eventually decided to go all out on this one and not take the easy way. Sure was good, eh?
Trevor Sis. Boom.

Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

OOh I love shepherds pie - especially if you get a really intensely flavoured meat sauce and really creamy potato. This is a way more involved version than I think I'd contemplate but I'd sure love to be served it some time!

Cake Duchess said...

I did the shorter version. Blame it on impatience and hungry kids.It was also delicious. Yours sounds like it was wonderful:)See you next week with the apple cake!
Lora

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Haha, haven't seen Father Ted for years, I should probably seek it out - must be on one of those new digital channels!

Another glowing review of this recipe, and it looks so good too. I think I'll have to make a lamb version.

Beth said...

That looks so great. You're tempting me to try the full-length version!

Steph said...

Looks yummy! Doing it over two days is good advice. It wore me out to do it all in one day!

Emily said...

I have never, ever tried this before! I've always wanted to though... I love mashed potatoes. I will have to try making this pie sometime.

The Caked Crusader said...

Good job! The world needs more Mrs Doyles....ah, go on now...just a little cup?