Friday, December 11, 2009

14 Days 'Til Christmas! (Day 11)

The holidays means so much more than just the Grinch, Frosty, Rudolph, and Clarke Griswold. The holidays also brings Food Network Christmas Specials. One of my favourites has to be Nigella's Christmas Kitchen. I don't know why, but this show in particular puts me in a really warm, fuzzy holiday mood.
I thought today we would let Martha off the hook and borrow a recipe from another culinary star. This is a recipe not for you to bake (GASP!) but for you to consider as a dinner idea!
Rudolph Pie
(aka Sheppards Pie)
You will need:
  • 50g dried porcini
  • 3 - 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 onions chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1kg minced venison
  • 1kg minced pork
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 6 tbsp Marsala
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree diluted in 125ml water
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • (For the Topping- the rest of the ingredients:)4kg potatoes
  • parsnips (about 8 medium-sized)
  • 125ml full-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, plus more to dot on the top
  • nutmeg
  • sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce
  1. Pour 500ml of near-boiling water over the porcini mushrooms and leave to steep.
  2. Warm oil into very large thick bottomed pan and add the chopped onions, carrots and minced garlic. Cook stirring for about 10 minutes, sprinkling with the salt if the vegetables look as if they may burn.
  3. Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid, chop coarsely and add with the button mushrooms to the vegetable mixture. After about 5 minutes tip the whole lot out to brown the meat.
  4. Add a little more oil to the pan then tip in the minced meats, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Stir for about five minutes until the rawness has left them a bit, add salt - unstintingly - and then return the vegetable mixture to the pan.
  5. Stir in the flour and add the mushroom-soaking liquid, tinned tomatoes, diluted puree, Marsala and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Stir well, cover partly with a lid and reduce heat so that the mince bubbles gently, for about 40 minutes to an hour.
  7. Meanwhile boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water until they are nearly ready and then add the parsnips which have been peeled and cut into chunks.
  8. Boil until they are cooked to easily mashable tenderness, then drain and allow to dry slightly.
  9. Warm the milk and melt the butter in the heat of the potato-pan. Rice or mash the potatoes and parsnips straight into this, grate in some fresh nutmeg and add salt to taste.
  10. Put the mince into a large dish approximately 37cm x 32cm, then dollop the potato mash on top, spreading with a spatula, taking care to seal the edges to prevent the meat below from bubbling up in the oven.
  11. Fork lines over the top, then dot with butter and sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce.
  12. If you're cooking this straight away, about 10 minutes in a 225C oven should be enough to make it piping hot and crispily golden on top. If cooking from cold, about an hour in a 190C/Gas 5 oven should do it.

Copyright Nigella Lawson, I copied and pasted as the instructions were too detailed to paraphrase and rewrite.

If you try this out let me know if it's good! I'm not a big fan of mushrooms so I would leave out the porcini and I have no money to be buying venison so...

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