Shepherd’s Macaroni Pie

Happy 2018 everyone!
(let’s just pretend the last 10 days didn’t happen :p)
I hope you guys had a wonderful winter break. My sisters are back in school and I’m home alone again in an early-January post-resolutions funk.  I hope you are having better luck keeping track of your resolutions. My ‘eating healthy’ one got stumped on day one.
No surprise there.
I have been trying to get back into a somewhat balanced diet routine after gorging on waffles and carrot cake all of last week, and I have started going on regular walks with my mother, so that feels good.
My work/study perspective still needs sorting out and I still need to decide on what I want to do with my life.
.
.
But other than that it’s going okay.
I have a good feeling about this year. I really do. 😀
 This Shepherd Macaroni Pie is warm, hearty, and super comforting: the makings of a perfect wintertime comfort dish.  #Pie #ShepherdPie

 

This bleak and dreary weather calls for some serious comfort food and starting off the blank slate of the year with something rich and indulgent just feels right.

And what could be more indulgent then a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes + macaroni + rich meat filling all together in the form of a pie.

 

 

This Shepherd Macaroni Pie is warm, hearty, and super comforting: the makings of a perfect wintertime comfort dish. #Pie #ShepherdPieThis Shepherd Macaroni Pie is warm, hearty, and super comforting: the makings of a perfect wintertime comfort dish. My family loved it and I’m sure yours will too.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my over-the-top version of the classic British Shepherd’s Pie

It has three parts to it:

  1. The meat sauce

  2. The mashed potatoes

  3. The macaroni

This Shepherd Macaroni Pie is warm, hearty, and super comforting: the makings of a perfect wintertime comfort dish. My family loved it and I’m sure yours will too.

It does take time to put the entire pie together but the end result will be well worth the effort, trust me.

And it’s super customizable too! You can:

  • Add in sweet corn, mushrooms, olives, jalapenos

  • Make it more/less spicy

  • Use chicken mince instead of beef

  • Leave out the macaroni layer entirely and you’ll be left with a traditional shepherd pie instead

 

This Shepherd Macaroni Pie is warm, hearty, and super comforting: the makings of a perfect wintertime comfort dish. #Pie #ShepherdPie

This Shepherd’s Macaroni Pie is warm, hearty, and super comforting: the makings of a perfect wintertime comfort dish. My family loved it and I’m sure yours will too.

If you do make it, don’t forget to share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #spatulainmypocket

Cheers!

Shepherd’s Macaroni Pie

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Meat Sauce
¼ cup cooking oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
½ kilo ground beef (Qeema)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
4 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tablespoon ketchup (optional but I like it saucy)
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
Mashed Potatoes
2 large potatoes, boiled till tender
1 Tablespoon butter
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Macaroni
1 ½ cups boiled elbow macaroni
2 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
½ cup chicken stock or water
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder
2 Tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese

 

Directions

Meat sauce:
In a pan, heat the cooking oil and fry the chopped onion till golden brown.
Add in the carrot and beef. Cook, stirring constantly till the beef turns pale.
Add in the salt, black pepper, and red chilli powder. Mix well.
Cook on high heat for another minute then add in the tomato paste, flour, cornflour, and 1 ½ cup water. Mix well.
Cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook on low heat for 15 minutes or until the beef is fully cooked, and is thick and saucy.
Mashed Potatoes:
Mash the two boiled potatoes along with the butter and milk.
Mix in the seasonings.
Add in more milk if needed to reach a smooth consistency.
Macaroni:
In a saucepan, melt the butter.
Add in the flour, salt, black pepper and mustard powder. Mix with a wooden spoon.
Add in the milk and stock and mix constantly on a low heat.
As soon as the sauce starts thickening and bubbling, turn off heat and add in the cheese and the cooked macaroni. Mix well
Assembling:
Grease a large oven-proof casserole dish. Pour in whole of the meat sauce.
Ladle on top the macaroni.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the macaroni layer or you may pipe the potatoes with a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
Top with a little cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until the top is a lovely golden brown.

This Shepherd Macaroni Pie is warm, hearty, and super comforting: the makings of a perfect wintertime comfort dish.  #Pie #ShepherdPie

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Dhaba Dal

Eating out is fun and adventurous. You get to try yummy new dishes without the hassle of cooking, table setting and washing up. It’s exciting to dress up and watch the waiter go by with trays laden with food that isn’t yours.

But sometimes the overpriced plates of pasta drowning in white sauce just don’t cut it. Sometimes what you need is good ol’ dal chawal.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

It’s perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters (especially after Bakra Eid) alike.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

 

 

If you’re a newbie to lentils, fear not. This was the first dal recipe I ever made, and I’ve made it a dozen times since. It’s super easy to cook. It involves none of that pressure cooker hassle. I’ve never used a pressure cooker and never intend to use it in the future either. That thing gives me the jeepers! Its the fault of all the horror stories told about the pressure coolers exploding.

Lentils cook beautifully well by simply boiling them in spiced water.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

There’s two parts to this recipe: the cooking of the lentils and the tempering. I’ve tried to explain each one of the steps involved as clearly as I could.

It’s a classic Shireen Anwer recipe (bow down for the queen). So you can’t go wrong with that!

Do give this recipe a try. It’s spicy, creamy, and reminiscent of the dal you get served on the roadside restaurants.

Coupled with roti hot off the tandoor or plain boiled rice, this dhaba dal is sure to become a family favorite in your house.

Dhaba Dal

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
250 g chana dal/split chick peas
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi powder)
½ cup ghee or cooking oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp garam masala (all spice powder)
Green chilies, finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Directions:
Soak the dal in water for 3 to 4 hours. Then wash and place in a pan along with; 3 cups of water, salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Cook on medium high flame till dal is soft and is cooked completely.
For the tempering/tarqa:
In a small pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions till brown. Then add in the tomatoes, garlic and the chili flakes. Cook on high flame, mixing continuously, till tomatoes turn mushy and the oil comes on top of the surface. Add in the chopped green chilies, and garam masala powder. Mix well.
Pour the tarqa on top of the prepared dal and mix the two together.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with plain white rice.

 

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.