Monday, April 20, 2009

Cajun Shepherd's Pie

1 1/2 pounds Ground beef
1/2 pound Ground pork
2 each Eggs -- lightly beaten
1/2 cup Very fine bread crumbs
1/4 pound + 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup Finely chopped onions
3/4 cup Finely chopped celery
1/2 cup Green bell peppers -- chopped
1 tablespoon + 1 tsp minced garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons White pepper
3/4 teaspoon Ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon Dried thyme leaves
3/4 cup Evaporated milk
2 pounds Potatoes -- peeled & quartered
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon White pepper
1 1/2 cups Julienned carrots (see note)
1 cup Julienned onions (see note)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon White pepper
1/4 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups Julienned zucchini (see note)
1 cup Julienned squash (see Note)
Very Hot Cajun Sauce/Beef

NOTE: To julienne squashes, cut peelings 1/8 inch thick and cut these into strips 1/8 inch wide and 2 inches long; use only strips that have skin on one surface. Cut carrots and onions into similar strips.In a 13x9-inch ungreased baking pan, combine the beef and pork.Mix in the eggs and bread crumbs by hand until thoroughly mixed. Set aside. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons of the butter, the onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, Worcestershire, Tabasco and meat seasoning mix. Saute over high heat about 5 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping the pan bottom well. Remove from heat and cool. Add the sauteed vegetable mixture and 1/4 cup of the milk to the meat and mix well by hand.Form into a 12x8-inch loaf and center in the pan.Bake at 450F until brown on top, about 30 minutes.Remove from oven; pour off drippings, reserve 2-1/2 tablespoons. Set meat and drippings aside.Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until fork tender; drain, reserving about 1 cup of the water. Place the potatoes, while still hot, in a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup milk, the salt and white pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon until broken up, then beat with a metal whisk (or electric mixer with a paddle) until creamy and velvety smooth.(NOTE: Mix in some of the reserved potato water if potatoes are not creamy enough.) In a large skillet (preferably non-stick) combine the reserved drippings with the carrots, onions and vegetable seasoning mix; saute over high heat 1-1/2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and continue sauteing until vegetables are noticeably brighter in color, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.Mound undrained vegetables on top of the meat loaf, away from the edges. Layer the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the vegetables and top edges of the meat, using all the potatoes. Bake at 525F until brown on top, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately with about 1/2 cup Very Hot Cajun Sauce (see recipe) under each serving.

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