Have you ever had a Chicken Shepherd’s Pie? If not, you are missing out big time. Originally created in England in the late 1800’s, with the sole purpose of using up the Sunday roast leftovers along with some readily available veggies, this is a super easy and sumptuous dish. The struggle to put leftovers to good use was as real back then, and this gave way to a delicious dish of a mashed-potato-topped casserole having a tender chicken filling in a homemade cheese sauce. This Irish dish with a bit of your own Indian twist on it is bound to warm you from the inside out. So, if you are in the mood for a meaty, savoury, comfort-giving, classic dish, it’s time to get the oven heated up.
Amrita Chaudhuri Ghosh is a culinary enthusiast.
1. 5 potatoes
2. Chicken keema (minced meat) – 400 grams
3. 1 medium sized carrot
4. 2 medium sized onions
5. 1 tablespoon garlic paste
6. 2/3 tea cup peas
7. 1 cup chicken stock
8. 50 grams butter
9. 100 grams shredded cheese
10. 2 egg yolks
11. 1/2 cup milk
12. 2 teaspoon Maida/flour
● First of all, chop up the onions into small pieces and fry them in olive oil. Cut up the carrot in cubes and add these to the oil.
● Add garlic paste to the pan followed by the chicken keema. Make sure to cook it well, to remove all signs of rawness of the garlic and ensure that the chicken is cooked evenly all throughout. Once that’s done, add the peas to the pan.
● After frying it for a bit, add the seasonings as per taste. This includes salt, pepper and rosemary. Now add 2 teaspoon of flour/maida along with one cup of chicken stock. Keep stirring till the liquid dries up. Now, your chicken keema filling is ready.
● The next step is to boil the potatoes, and add to it the butter, shredded cheese, the egg yolks, salt, pepper and one ladle full of milk. Mix all of it well to form a homogeneous mash — and you will have the mashed potatoes mixture all ready.
● Now, its time to arrange the layers in your trusted Borosil vessel. First, put a light layer of the mashed potatoes, then put a layer of the chicken keema and top it off with a heavy layer of the mashed potatoes.
●Even it out with the back of a spoon and use a fork to draw lines on it (to make the upper part uneven). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Set the temperature to 200 degrees centigrede.
● To make the pie even more delicious and have a crusty top, make sure to grill or broil for 10 minutes after the baking is done.