Sunday, October 11, 2015

Master Indy's POSH Cottage Pie

Back in September on a business trip to the UK, Master Indy told His slave:
I like Shepherds Pie, which I last had at a really posh party”!
Well slave decided to do a really posh version. Some background first! English shepherd's had this dish named after them centuries ago. It was made with ground lamb, some onion and few vegetables cooked in a gravy. It was served with mashed potatoes on top. When the popularity spread, other meats were used and to keep things in proper order it was proclaimed that Shepherd's Pie would be made of lamb. If it were made of beef, it would be called Cottage Pie.

Slave does note that in today's British slang, “cottage” and “cottaging” would be called “t-rooms” and “scoring in the T rooms” here in the colonies! However we shall overlook such trivialities and focus on some really tremendous food.
This version of the classic British dish is made with a rich thick stew base and big pieces of chuck steak topped with escalloped white & sweet potatoes. Elegant all the way. As you might know, stew always tastes better the second day. So the base of this dish is made the night before and the potato topping done fresh the day of.

2 lbs chuck cut into 2 inch pieces
8oz mushrooms quartered
1 onion chopped
2 carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 stick celery cut into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup flour
3-5 cloves garlic minced
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 tbs soy sauce
1 container of Greek Style non flavored non fat yogurt
2 – 3 tbs milk
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 russet potatoes
1 sweet potato
a few dried cranberries for accent

On the night before. Do your cutting:

Rinse and quarter the mushrooms and let dry.
Cut the chuck into large (2 inch) pieces removing much of the fat, not all but much
Chop the onion, celery, and carrots and place in separate bowls.
Chop up 3 cloves garlic, then slice 2 more; keep them in two different bowls.  

In a Dutch oven on medium high heat, warm 2 tbs olive oil. Brown the pieces of chuck, it will take different batches, just turn the meat brown don’t try to cook it. Take the meat out and place on paper towels until all is browned.

Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, add a few drops of oil if necessary. Cook until just starting to turn transparent.

Drop heat to medium low, dump in the flour onto the onions and cook for about 2 minutes stirring well. It will clump up. Add the chopped garlic (not the slices) continue to cook & stir for another minute.

Add wine to the pan. This will deglaze. Stirring up any brown bits from the bottom will add a lot flavor as the wine starts to thicken. Simmer the wine mix for about 5 minutes adding the beef stock, thyme, and rosemary.

Now add the celery, carrots, and mushrooms along with the beef. Float a bay leaf on top. Turn the heat way down to low to let this gently simmer for about 30 minutes covered.

After that turn off the heat: Remove the bay leaf, and let cool before putting in refrigerator overnight.

Please note: You have made a delicious stew at this point and can stop here if you wish!

Day Of:
Bring a pot of water to a boil & add salt.
Peel your potatoes and using a mandolin carefully slice them thinly (about ¼ inch thick)

Let the slices boil for about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain into a colander and allow to cool.
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.

When oven is ready:
Spray your baking dish well and ladle in the beef mixture.

In a sauce pan heat yogurt, garlic slices, and nutmeg. Thin with milk as needed. Stir until smooth.

 Arrange half of the blanched potatoes right on top of the meat mixture. Try to alternate the white with the sweet. Pour half of the yogurt mixture over that to cover. Repeat with the 2nd half of the potatoes and last of the sauce.
Sprinkle with dried cranberries for color and taste.

Place in oven uncovered for 30 -45 minutes.  Ready when bubbly, golden crusty brown and potatoes are tender when pierced with wooden tooth pick.

Remove from oven. Let stand for 10 full minutes before serving.

Slave chose to serve this with grilled peach halves. Drain the halves on paper towels. Mix 2 tbs of mayonnaise with ½ tsp cinnamon and 1 tbs chopped pecans.

Spoon this into each half on a lined baking tray. 

 Slide this into the oven along with the Cottage Pie for the last 10 minutes. All these need is to get hot and melt the topping. They really do not need to go under a broiler.

Am so excited to prepare this special POSH version for my Master and dedicate it to Him.

How about some music?


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon


October is National LGBT History month so let's look at a forgotten incident that was caused by a future president back in 1919!

In February 1919 two patients at the Naval Training Station Hospital in Newport Rhode Island were talking. Thomas Brunelle regaled his new friend, Ervin Arnold, with tales of how men frequented both the Newport Art Club and the local YMCA to contact each other and naval personnel for sex with other men!

Well, Arnold happened to be a former Connecticut State detective. He decided to find out for himself and to get proof, which he promptly turned over to his Navy superiors.

On March 19, 1919, the court concluded that a thorough investigation was warranted. The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned to Arnold to head up the investigation. Arnold chose his investigators on the basis of their youth and looks. Roosevelt signed an order for these gay-baiters to go “to the limit”—i.e. engage in actual sex acts with their victims. Thirteen agents submitted daily reports to Arnold of candid descriptions of homosexual sex acts and how they took part in them. Eventually they had no qualms in partaking!

As a result seventeen sailors were court-martialed for sodomy and scandalous conduct. Most were sent to the naval prison in Maine. Two more were dishonorably discharged and only two were found innocent.

One of those found innocent was Rev. Samuel Neal Kent, an Episcopal clergyman. In that case, the judge discredited the investigators who told of how they took part in illicit sexual acts. He stated that since no military or governmental authority could legitimately order men to participate against their will, the “accusers” were either willing participants (whose complaints were groundless) or they were acting under unlawful commands from their superiors. His analysis fueled opposition in Newport's religious community.

When word leaked out of the methods used it led to an investigation by a Senate subcommittee—although media coverage was limited because the details of the case were “unprintable.”

While Roosevelt defended his actions, the Navy was relieved of the bad publicity when he resigned his position in July of 1920.

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