Monday, October 18, 2010


Just out of the oven and ready for MY TASTING PLATE
Almost All Gone!  Hachis Parmentier: Shepherd’s Pie
Pronounced:  ah-she-pahr-men-tee-ay
(My extra large 10 X 15 baking dish was filled with a substantial and scrumptious supper )
This Food "Set Up"  after being out of the oven for an hour...the juices were absorbed
Note:  the 1st photo, above, looks more juicy, not holding its shape

Today I tackled the boiled beef. I had to think about how I really wanted this recipe to turn out; something that would not only get eaten, but that would also be enjoyed by my family. I will have 10-12 at home during the dinner time hours, and I would like to share the Hachis Parmentier with everyone who stops by as they will give me honest feedback, and it will be fun to have them share this cooking project. We will eat on the patio where it will be close to 90^, making a heavy meat dish not quite the preferred choice. It is a beautiful AZ day with sunshine, blue skies, and not even a breeze. On the other hand, I have a daughter living in  the now cold northern Idaho where snow is in the extended forecast, so her lots-of-protein eating buff husband would probably dance for joy and eat the entire meaty casserole, and then he would look for more tomorrow!  This heavy food is a delicious Fall/Winter dinner and we, here in AZ, are still enjoying summer.

Beef and Seasonings Simmering in their own juices.  
Everyone loved the "bouillon" created by the entire cooking process!

I decided to cube the chuck roast beef I had purchased, trimmed the fat and other uneatables, browned it in a little olive oil, and then let it simmer in it’s own juices with the suggested seasonings for an hour while I chopped up extra veges and peeled the potatoes.  This was a deviation from Dorie's recipe, but I'm happy with the results.

This potato pealing is a biggie for me as we never peel potatoes...just scrub them and cook the potatoes with their skins. My family is used to mashed potatoes with the skins, and they will think I am getting ready for something special like Thanksgiving dinner when they see I have taken the extra time to do all the potato peeling.





With my family in mind, I did a refrigerator “sweep” (I read the “Next-day Beef Salad recipe on the following page) and found several of those “tidbits” Dorie was talking about. To me, all the veges are by far the best part. Therefore, I can’t “discard” these still flavorful additions to this recipe. Except for the carrots, the veges seemed to melt into the meat and broth during the simmering process. I wished I had added more.


While shopping, I found mild Italian sausage that I removed from the casings and browned in olive oil.

Sausage is ready to be added to the Beef mixture
Meanwhile, the simmering beef was becoming tender so I added my lovely chopped veges, simmered the stew for another hour, and then added the browned sausage with any remaining ingredients. I later regretted adding the cubed bouillon which gave the finished pie too much of a salty flavor. The beef “stew” was salted, the sausage was pre-seasoned and salty, the mashed potatoes were salted, and the “stew” became a little reduced or concentrated, and thus more salty as it cooked, and the bouillon cube was very salty and just took the salt over the top. However, everyone ate a large plate of the food and there were very few complaints.

I found all the ingredients in my pantry or fridge excepting the meats. Part of the fun of this recipe was the idea of using items I already had; some that needed to be used within the next day or two. I also chose to use a couple of varieties of cheeses already in my fridge. I kept the beef in about 1" cubes, otherwise I would have used ground beef for this dish. When un-cased, the sausage cooked down similar to how fresh ground beef would have cooked.

The two new things I tried for this recipe and enjoyed were: 1. The addition of tomato paste to the broth (since I tripled the recipe, making enough for everyone, I added a 6 oz can of paste. 2. I have not used both beef and sausage in a “stew” type recipe before, and we enjoyed these flavors together.

Son-In-Law's "TASTER VERSION"-- Before the potatoes were mashed and before the oven

As a side note, my son-in-law stopped by for lunch, just as the steamed potatoes were fork tender and the “stew” was finished...just before the potatoes were turned into mashed potatoes. To be my taster, he put some of the potatoes in the bottom of a bowl and then ladled the stew on top. He told me that I out-did myself; that on a scale from 1 to 10, this dish was at least a 9. What a great complement! He really enjoyed the sausage-beef combination. I actually think I would have enjoyed this dish more the way he ate it. For our hot day, the mashed potatoes, cheese, etc. made the dish a bit to heavy for me.



Also, three of my grandkids came over to be tasters. The are very young children and I wondered if they would like this type of food. They seemed to love it! Each one ate a very large, adult size portion of food, and my 3 year old grandson actually “wolfed” it down in no time at all! That made me feel great!

This would be a great meal for a cold day especially when there are items in the fridge to be used. This is also a meal that appeals to hungry men. I am sure I’ll make a similar dish again, but I will include many more veges in my adjusted recipe.

JUST OUT OF THE OVEN and ooooozing with juicy goodness!

We are enjoying the variety that Dorie’s assigned cooking projects brings to our family. We have looked forward to each week’s FFwD experience as they are anticipated and as they bring my family together. We enjoy shopping, cooking and tasting each assignment. We critique them and discuss ideas like the use of a “new” cheese, or what we would do to make it better the next time around.

We especially look forward to next week’s assigned apple cake. I already checked and the “normal” ingredients for the cake are already in the house, ready to be shopping necessary for this one. Thanks, Dorie, for this fun group experience. Glad I joined this fun group of cooks!

FYI: I just got a text from my daughter who stopped by to get a plate of this "pie" to take to her late working hubby for his dinner. She says, "I think J___ was in heaven with his dinner tonight...definitely his kind of food!"  Need I say any more?


  1. Your hachis parmentier turned out well. Great job!

  2. I like the son-in-law version. Great post.

  3. It was an ooozyyy goodness!
    And by the way LOVE your Inspiration nook.. it looks just like mine - we can give B&N a run for its money!

  4. Your photos are terrific. Yours turned out juicier than mine, although I did end up with about two cups of broth left. Perhaps I should have put it all in! So nice that your whole family gets involved too!

  5. So very nice for you to be doing FFWD with your family! My kids are away at college so I'm on my own. I did make the Hachis & Gougeres for them one weekend, though :)