Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Potatoes

By Paul Briand

Wow, talk about hearty. Take the comfort food of a shepherd's pie and combine it with the comfort food of a good old fashioned baked potato and you've got comfort food squared.

This is a Rachael Ray recipe from her new cookbook, "Rachael Ray's Look and Cook."

I've said before that I like Ray for her quick, easy, off-the-shelf recipes. They don't require a lot of intricacy and a lot of time in the kitchen. This one, however, is a little more involved than the 30-minute recipes you see featured on her Food Channel show.

But it's well worth the effort.

6 large russet potatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
Ground black pepper
1 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound button or cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons spicy brown or Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F and on a rimmed baking sheet, roll the potatoes in a hearty drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Bake until tender, about 1 hour, then let cool;
2. While the potatoes cool, in a medium skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the bell pepper and half of the onions and saute to soften for 5 minutes, then set aside to cool;
3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut a thin top slice off each potato. In a bowl, combine the bell pepper and onion mixture, the sour cream, smoked paprika, half of the Gouda, salt and pepper. Scoop the flesh from each potato and to the bowl. Mash to combine. Set aside;
4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the ground sirloin and brown for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the lumps. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to turn golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes more;
5. Add the remaining onions and the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Push all of the ingredients to the edge of the pan and add the butter to the middle of the skillet. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the stock, mustard, soy sauce, and Worcestershire. Bring up to a bubble, combine with the meat mixture, adjust the salt and pepper, and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes;
6. Fill the potato shells with the beef and veggie mixture, then top each of them with the mashed potatoes;
7. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Pop the potatoes under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the tops are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

I don't know about Rachael, but I had quite a bit of mashed potato left over, even after piling it high on the potato shell. But having leftover mashed potatoes is not a bad thing; another ingredient for another comfort food dish this week.

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