Basilton’s Shepherd’s Pie

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He shoves a casserole dish into my arms, then grabs some forks. “Milk?” he asks. “Coke?”

“Milk,” I say. I’m grinning, I can’t stop grinning. He puts the carton on top of the casserole, grabs some cloth napkins from the drawer, then heads back up to his room. It’s a struggle to keep up.
. . . .
I sit down next to him, and he takes the casserole dish from me and casts a quick, “You’re getting warmer!”—then opens the lid. It’s shepherd’s pie.

“Do you need to eat?” I ask. “Or do you just like it?”

“I need it,” he says, scooping up a bite, avoiding my eyes, “just not as much as other people do.”

“How do you know that you’re not immortal?”

He hands me a fork. “No more questions.”

We finish the shepherd’s pie, eating out of the bowl on Baz’s lap. He chews with his hand over his mouth. I try to remember whether I’ve ever seen him eat before.… I finish the milk. He doesn’t want any.

When we’re done, he sets the dishes outside his door, then starts a fire in the fireplace with his wand.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Basilton’s Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 1/2 Russet Potatoes, peeled & diced ~1/2″ pieces
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Half & Half
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, sliced
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 Lrg. Carrot, peeled & diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Ground Lamb
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Sage, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Cup Stock (can be veal, beef, veggie, etc.)
  • 1 Can Peas, drained

Put the potato cubes on a large pot with the salt & enough cold water to cover the potatoes, & then cover the pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, & then uncover & reduce the heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes & then put them back in the pot.

In a small pot on medium low combine the half & half with the butter & heat until the butter melts. Add this mixture to the potatoes, adding pepper to taste & more salt if desired, & mash until smooth. Stir in the egg until fully combined.

Grease a deep pie dish or casserole dish & then press half of the potato mixture into the bottom & up the sides. Set aside for the meat mixture.

In a large pan on medium high, heat the oil, & then add in the garlic, onions, & carrots & sauté until just tender. Stir in the meat & cook until no longer pink. Sprinkle on the flour & toss to coat. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire, & herbs, & cook for a couple minutes, & then add in the broth. Bring to a boil & then turn down to simmer for about 10 minutes so the juices can thicken.

Heat your oven to 400ºF. Spoon the meat mixture evenly into the dish with the potatoes. Layer the rest of the potato mixture on top of the meat, starting at the edges & working your way into the center. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top has gotten a little golden brown. Remove, cool a bit, & serve with 2 forks & a jug of milk!

carry-on-shepherds-pie-bitecarry-on-shepherds-pie-bite-closeup Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 34 : Carry On

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Kashmiri Dum Aloo

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This is a classic potato curry with a beautiful red color with a spice that will warm you through a cold Kashmiri winter, but as I mentioned on the podcast, this turned out just a little spicier than I intended – and I say this as a person that can take some heat. Kashmiri chili is not that spicy in theory (meaning everything I’ve read on the web and in cookbooks), but in practice I’ve found it a little spicier than these claims, especially in a dish like this where you’re using a lot of it, so adjust the to your taste. Alternately, you can use a mixture of paprika and cayenne – paprika will give it that smokiness and the same lovely color, and cayenne can take the heat to the level you want.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Adapted from Veg Recipes of India

  • 2 pounds red potatoes
  • salt
  • oil (ideally mustard oil, which when using you will need to bring to a smoking point to kill the raw flavor and then reduce the heat back down. Canola oil is fine too, you just won’t have quite the same flavor)
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, grated
  • Whole spices: 1 cinnamon stick, 6 cloves, 2 black cardamom, 2 green cardamom
  • Ground spices: 2-4 teaspoons kashmiri chili (or a mixture of paprika and cayenne that you can adjust to your spice level), 1 tablespoon ground fennel, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, few turns of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, whipped smooth

Peel the potatoes, cut them into large, even-sized chunks, and in a pot cover them with generously salted water. Bring water to a boil, and boil until potatoes are 1/2 to 2/3 done. Drain and dry on a towel, and poke some hole in each with a fork.

In a pan, heat 1/2 inch of oil, and fry the potatoes in batches, turning, until they are lightly golden. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Now make the curry: pour out all but 2-3 tablespoons of the oil, and heat the ginger and garlic pastes, stirring, for a minute or two. Add whole spices, and stir until fragrant. Add ground spices and stir for just a minute, then add yogurt and 2 cups water. Mix well.

Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Add the potatoes back into the pot, mix gently, then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are fully cooked and the sauce has started to thicken.

Serve hot with rice or naan.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 30: Fanaa

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