Shepherd’s Pie

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This is a dish that calls for ground lamb. Lamb can have a gamy flavor and lots of herbs are used to offset the gaminess. When using ground beef, if you like you can tone back the herbs to half of the recipe of using lamb.  There was no ground lamb at the meat market this time, so I bought lamb stew meat and ran it through the meat grinder.

1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 Lb. ground lamb
¼ tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP ketchup
1 cup ale beer (or Pilsner, Guinness or IPA.  I prefer IPA for the tangy rich hops taste)
If you don’t want to use beer or wine you can use 1 bouillon cube in a half cup of hot water.
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
½ cup corn kernel w/some corn juice

Topping mashed potatoes:
3 potatoes
You know how to do this.

Some use none, I use local Wisconsin grated sharp cheddar from Shullsburg.  Others use Irish cheddar.  I have seen Irish cheddar in the store and it is from Ireland, but I haven’t used it.  I like to support local Ag and I live ten miles from Shullsburg.

Meat filing:
Sauté onions, add meat lightly brown, add everything else except topping except flour and beer. Cook on medium then add flour and mix then beer (or bouillon) and make a gravy.  Don’t overcook it has to go into the oven. Turn off heat and let sit.

Make the mashed potatoes, place meat into a 2 quart square baking dish, top with cheese then top with potatoes and bake at 400ᵒ uncovered 30 minutes. Let cool and serve.

As of 3/14/21

Breakfast Crumpets

125 g. all-purpose flour
1 cup milk microwaved for 1 minute (to 110°)
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. yeast
½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt (if you like)
1 TBSP clarified butter

Mix everything together except the butter with a whisk until the batter is sort of runny.  Let batter rise and bubble 30 minutes.

In a 8 inch pan, melt the butter and get pan hot on medium heat.  Pour in the batter and brown on bottom (~3 to 4 minutes), turn over, brown for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove like a large pancake and cut into 4 pieces.  Serve with breakfast.  I serve this with banger sausage and an egg over easy. I don’t have crumpet forms so I use an 8″ pan.

As of 3/7/21

Tomato Sauce from the Vine

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One big batch of fresh San Marzano tomatoes or a combination of San Marzano, Roma, Cherry and another tomato.

Run the tomatoes through a tomato miller. This mill machine separates the seeds and skin from the meat. This yielded exactly 56 oz. of meat.

In a large pot, add all these ingredients.
1/3 cup olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flake
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
56 oz. milled tomato meat

In a small food processor chop:
½ onions
4 garlic cloves
1 TBSP fresh oregano
1 TBSP fresh basil
1 TBSP fresh mint

Add the herbs to the pot and cook all on a low temp until the water evaporates and the sauce gets thick. Maybe 3 hours or more on low.  Refrigerate overnight.

Spoon 15 oz. in quart size freezer bags and freeze for next year.

I also grew my own garlic, oregano, basil and mint.

As of 3/4/21

Beef Barley Soup

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There are two ways to do this. Cook it on the stove which requires a lot of steps or dump everything into a crock-pot and cook on medium all day. This is a great soup.

1 TBSP oil
1 Lb. beef button round (I actually used less than a pound)
½ onions chopped
1 clove garlic sliced into thin coins
1 TBSP tomato paste
4+ cups chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
¼ cup pearl or naked barley
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. dried rosemary

On the stove in a Dutch oven brown the meat in oil.  Remove
Sauté the onion, carrots and celery
Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
Add the broth, garlic, cut the meat into spoon size squares and return the meat
In a cheese cloth pouch tie the bay leaf and the rosemary and add that to the pot
Add the tomato paste and stir in
Add the barley
Salt and pepper
Bring to a boil, reduce to slow simmer and cook for 1 hour or until the barley is completely cook.

Serve with a baguette.

As of 3/4/21

English Bangers

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This is a Cumberland style banger owing to the mix of seasonings. 

I used a 2.5 lb. Picnic roast (Pork shoulder) and ¾ Lb. of a pork steak with a lot of fat.  I’ve also used 3.0 Lbs. pork shoulder blade steaks with plenty of fat.

Rusk (Bread Crumbs)
I made rusk from scratch with baking powder and no yeast.  Using rusk is the traditional way of making bangers.  However, a coarse panko can also be used.  The purpose for the rusk is to bind the meat and fat and retain the juices in the sausage.

136 grams of rusk (bread crumbs)
204 grams of cold water
Mix the water and crumbs together and place in a refrigerator for at least an hour to soak up the water.

Sausage Casings
I used the standard hog casings packed in salt.  Two casings covered three lbs. of pork.  Soak the casings in cold water and change out the water several times.  They should soak at least an hour. 

In a jar mix these seasonings.  Use 2.25 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of pork.
3 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. mace
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger

Cut the pork into small squares and run through a meat grinder. 

Add the rusk and the seasonings and by hand mix the ingredient well.  Make sure to incorporate the seasonings evenly, or you might get too much seasoning in one section and not enough in another. You can also use a Kitchen-Aid with the paddle and mix on low until it looks

Before stuffing the casings place the pork in the frig at least an hour to let all the ingredients merge and the meat to get cold.  Make a sausage patty and cook it on the stove to see if the flavor is to your liking.  It is far better to go easy on the salt and pepper initially and adjust later after you have sampled the meat.  Once the seasoning is added, there is no way to take it out. 

Stuff the casings and then twist the stuffed casings into sausage lengths ~4 inches.  Place them in the frig overnight.  They need a baste in the seasonings overnight and maintain the form of the casing.

Cooking Bangers

I used a corn holder and poked 8 pinholes in the sausage.  This is done to keep the sausage from splitting and popping open.  Fry the sausage 5 minutes on each side in oil to brown.  Bake in a oven 20 minutes on 350º.   Serve over mashed potatoes, sautéed onions in butter and cover in brown gravy. 

As of 3/25/21