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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Peppered Shepherd's Pie | Sweeney Todd #FoodnFlix

Peppered Shepherd's Pie Sweeney Todd #FoodnFlix
For this month's round of Food 'n Flix, our host, Kimberly from Coffee and Casseroles invited us to head into the kitchen and pull our recipe inspiration from the vast selection of Tim Burton's filmography. I actually wound up watching a few this month—Sleepy Hollow, James and the Giant Peach (for the bazillionth time), and Sweeney Todd (for only the 4th or 5th time). I also contemplated watching either Dark Shadows...which I'd forgotten I actually owned until I was hunting through my dvds...or Big Fish, as well.

I've actually created recipes inspired by a few of Burton's films in the past...Beetlejuice, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Alice in Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands, and Sweeney Todd. I had some fun recipe ideas from both Sleepy Hollow and JatJP, but alas, the current state of the grocery stores did not allow me to bring those ideas to fruition (but hey, there's always later). But I was able to create something inspired by Sweeney Todd once again, with only ingredients I already had on hand. So, that's a win.

I hate to repeat myself if it's not necessary, so if you don't know the premise of Sweeney Todd, the remake of the 1979 musical by the same name, please pop over and check out my previous post. But as a quick overview, it's about young husband, father, and barber Benjamin Barker is wrongly imprisoned by a corrupt judge who wants to steal his wife away. Fifteen years later, he returns to London bent on revenge, and going by the name Sweeney Todd. He returns to his former place of residence in London, located above Mrs. Lovett's Pie Shop. Aaaand, he and Mrs. Lovett turn people into pie.
Mrs. Lovett's Peppered Shepherd's Pie Sweeney Todd #FoodnFlix
My particular inspiration comes from a little ditty the two are singing together inside her shop. Morbid? Of course. Tasty? You bet!

It's fop
Finest in the shop
Or we have some shepherd's pie peppered
With actual shepherd on top!
                                        -lyrics from "A Little Priest" by Stephen Sondheim, from Sweeney Todd
Mrs. Lovett singing about Shepherd's Pie...with actual shepherds on top from Sweeney Todd
Food 'n Flix club logo
This month's edition of Food 'n Flix is being hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles with her pick, The Films of Tim Burton; submissions are due March 29,2020 (by 6pm ET).

Join us next month as we head into the kitchen with our host Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm with her pick, The Biggest Little Farm.

For inspiration, check out the Food 'n Flix website (click on any of the roundups listed to see what participants have been inspired to make by the movie choice), all of my past Food 'n Flix posts, or my Food 'n Flix Pinterest board!

Peppered Shepherd

Peppered Shepherd's Pie

Yield: 12
Prep time: 25 MCook time: 2 H & 20 MTotal time: 2 H & 45 M
Slowly cooked meat in a gravy sauce covered with mashed potatoes with plenty of freshly ground pepper. No real shepherds were harmed in the making of this recipe.


For the meat base:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 3/4 pounds ground lamb or beef
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 fluid ounces Port or red wine
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups beef stock (or chicken or vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
For the mash:
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 6-8 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste + more to finish


How to cook Peppered Shepherd's Pie

Make the meat base:
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan and saute ground lamb or beef until browned. If using ground beef, you may need to drain the excess fat/liquid from the pan at this point.
  2. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan, add the onions, carrots, and garlic; cook on a gentle heat until softened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, then stir in the flour and cook for a 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the Port, allowing the liquid to mostly evaporate before adding the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves.
  5. Bring to a simmer and allow to gently simmer, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, until the liquid has thickened into a gravy that lightly coats the meat. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Lift out and discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 425° F.
Make the mash:
  1. Cover the chopped potatoes in cold salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, 12-15 minutes (depending on size of the chop).
  2. Drain the potatoes, then return to the pot set over low heat and allow them to steam-dry for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, then add the milk, butter, and about 3/4 of the grated cheese; mash well. Season to taste with freshly grated nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Putting the pie together:
  1. Divide the meat into 2 baking dishes (I used one 9-inch deep dish pie plate and an 11"x7" baking dish). Spoon or pipe the potato mash on top of the meat (I used a piping bag, then spread it a bit with a rubber spatula). Scatter the remaining cheese on top of the mash.
  2. At this point, you can slide one or both pans into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden and some juices are bubbling up around the edges. You can also allow them to cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for 3 days or so before bringing to room temperature then baking.
  3. Grind some more pepper over the top of the pie or each individual serving and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @allroadsleadtothekitchen on instagram and hashtag it #allroadsleadtothekitchen
Created using The Recipes Generator

Also inspired by Sweeney Todd - Mrs. Lovett's Famous Meat Pies:
Mrs. Lovett's Famous Meat Pies recipe

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