Monday, November 19, 2012

Hachis Parmentier

More French rustic cooking happened in my kitchen this weekend. Still in the French mood! This time a tricolored Hachis Parmentier (a French version of Shepard's Pie, but with stew meat instead of ground beef, yummers!) We also treated ourselves to a really nice Bordeaux red, delicious!

 This dish may look advanced but really it wasn't all that difficult, just time consuming (and causes quite a few dishes to be cleaned.) Well worth the effort though, so wonderfully comforting and rich on a dark Autumn evening.

 Recipe: Tricolor Hachis Parmentier for 4

For the Stew:
Butter for frying
500g Stew meat cut into small bite sized chunks (about 3/4")
2 Bay leaves
0.33 L Red Wine (I used cheap cooking wine)
1 large carrot cut into chunks
1 large celery stick cut into chunks
2 Shallot onions, diced
2 garlic cloves sliced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Vegetable/or beef stock (I did a mix of both)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the tricolored mashed potatoes:
800g potatoes, peeled and boiled
2 carrots, peeled and boiled
Handful Fresh parsley, blended to a green paste with olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by browning the meat chunks in a bit of butter to get some color and flavor going. Add the wine, bay leaves, a pinch of salt and pepper, and water to cover the meat. Allow to simmer for approx. 1.5 hours until the meat is rather tender. (You will need to watch the water level, add more water as needed.) Once meat is tender start frying the shallots, garlic, celery, and carrots in butter in a separate frying pan. Just soften, don't brown. Add the vegetables to the stewed meat, plus the tomato paste, vegetable/beef stock and water to cover. Allow to simmer and reduce slightly for another 30mins to 45mins.

Meanwhile boil the potatoes until soft (takes about 15 to 20 minutes depending on size) and the carrots as well though separately. Once cooked mash the potatoes with a generous pad of butter and milk until smooth and creamy. Blend the carrots until smooth. Blend the fresh parsley with olive oil if you haven't already done so. Cut the batch of mashed potatoes into 3 and place in 3 bowls. Mix grated cheese into one. Mix the blended carrot mash and a pinch of nutmeg into another, and the blended parsley paste into the third. Once all three batches have been combined, place the mixtures into piping bags (or I used ziplock bags, just cut one of the corners.)

The stew and the mashed potatoes could have been done hours in advance (even a day, see easy dinner.) When you're ready to serve pre heat the oven to 200°C. Place the stew in an oven safe dish. Over the stew pipe the 3 potato mashes in stripes. I grated a little parmesan on top too. Bake in oven until the potatoes and cheese go a little golden and the stew in hot and bubbling. About 20 minutes.

I served the Hachis Parmentier with a simple tomato salad and mache greens, and a delicious Bordeaux of course!

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