Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!
Everything sounds delicious in French - doesn't it. Well the first recipe Andy gave us for Paté Chinois was his family recipe and was very similar to the quick Shepard's pie that I regularly make for a weeknight supper. It has ground beef, mash potatoes. canned or frozen vegetables. Well, it seems like Paté Chinois is not quite the same. It also has a little French Canadian twist, red wine and creamed corn. Not sure I have ever seen a recipe with red wine and creamed corn together.
My wife is not a big creamed corn fan so I decided to go with a more tradition Shepard's Pie. Andy also gave us a recipe for a crock pot Shepard's pie made with lamb and beer. Since I have never made a "real" Shepard's pie I decided to try this one.
I picked us a nice leg of lamb, unfortunately it was 5 1/2 pounds, about twice as big as I needed. I decided to take a gamble that we would like it and just make a double batch. I have a pretty large crock pot so I figured no problem. Well as I started to put it together and mix all the vegetables and meat, I did not even have a bowl big enough to hold it all. It definitely would not fit in my crock pot so I pulled out the dutch oven. It barely fit in my large dutch oven. The recipe called for 10 hours on low in the crock pot so I cooked mine for 3 hours at 325°F.
I froze about half of the cooked Shepard's pie. I will be able to just make some potatoes and warm it all up to have it later. The gamble payed off, because it was yummy. I (and the rest of the family) will have no problem eating this again. The meat was very tender and tasty and I pretty much licked the sauce off my plate. The potatoes are cooked right with everything else so they come out a little brown - maybe don't look the best, but they get all that flavor from cooking with the other veggies and meat. The only change I might make in the future is to brown the meat on the stove - I think that might add a little color and flavor to the meat.
If you want to check out this recipe or any of the other Shepard's pie recipes Andy gave us they are all posted on The Daring Kitchen recipe archive ( look for Paté Chinois ).