Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Carne Guisada Shepherd's Pie

Carne Guisada Shepherd's Pie
by Sandra Simmons

When you have a blackberry cobbler and a tres leches cake in the fridge, you really don't need to make a sweet pie, now do you? That said, Carrie's Pie Challenge could not have come at a better time for me! Willie'd just made carne guisada the night before and there were leftovers. The carne guisada was incredible and I always love to be able to serve leftovers in a different way. And the Cowgirl Chef's Green Chile-Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes immediately popped into my head when I started thinking about shepherd's pie! We loved it! Hope you will too!

leftover Carne Guisada
Green Chile-Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes
salt and pepper
cilantro, chopped (for garnish, optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375. You can use absolutely any baking dish, including a cast iron skillet, for this. I used some Mason jars but you can use any size baking dish that works for the amount of leftovers you have. One recipe (below) of the smashed potatoes will work well with 4 cups of Carne Guisada.

Add your leftover Carne Guisada to your baking dish. Top with the smashed potatoes. Sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and bake for 20 minutes or until the Carne Guisada is bubbling and the potatoes have browned. Top with chopped cilantro and enjoy.

Carne Guisada
adapted from Gringo's Mexican Kitchen's recipe in Houston Classic Mexican Recipes

3 1/2 pounds Top Sirloin
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper, fine
1 tablespoon cumin, ground
2 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 cups yellow onions, 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups green bell peppers, 1/2-inch dice
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes, crushed

Clean and trim most of the visible fat from the meat. Cut the meat in 1-inch cubes. Season the meat with the salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.

Put the meat into a large Dutch oven or stock pot and cover. No oil is necessary, the meat gives off a lot of liquid. That said, if the liquid cooks off, add some water to the pot as needed. Cook over medium to medium high heat (depending on your stove top) for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low to medium and continue cooking, covered, for 40 minutes. Check occasionally to see if you need to add water. Do not let the pot cook dry.

Add the onions and peppers and stir. Continue to cook at the same temperature for an additional 20 minutes.

Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Continue to simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes. At this point the meat should be tender. If it's not, reduce the heat to low and check every 10-15 minutes until tender. You can make this dish specifically for the Shepherd's Pie recipe but I would recommend you eat it in a tortilla with guacamole and sour cream the first night and save the leftovers for the second night for your Shepherd's Pie! Delicious!

Green Chile-Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes
adapted from Cowgirl Chef's recipe 

1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut in 3-inch chunks
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons half and half
1/2 (4.5 ounces) can chopped green chiles
4 ounces goat cheese
salt and pepper

Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 4 inches of water. Cover, and turn on high heat. When it boils, turn it to low and set the timer for 10 minutes. When it goes off, see if the potatoes are ready by puncturing them with a fork – the potatoes should be soft, yet not mushy. If they’re ready, take them off the heat and drain them. If not, give them a few more minutes and keep testing until they’re done.

After you’ve drained the water off of the potatoes, add the 3 tablespoons of butter and stir it in. Add the half and half and stir. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher but not too much, leave some chunks in there. Add the green chiles and the goat cheese and just give it a couple of stirs. It's preferable to have some chunks of goat cheese in the potatoes here and there. Season to taste. Set aside until you are ready to assemble the Shepherd's Pie.

P.S. Both of the cookbooks cited above are fantastic! You NEED them!

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