Untraditional Shepherd's Pies

Thursday 3 October 2013

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I never really have to be asked twice if I want to do a cookbook review.  As you know I adore cookbooks.   My motto is "You can never have too many cookbooks."  Todd begs to differ.  He moans every time another one arrives.  He is not, however, adverse to indulging himself in the fruits of those very same books.  He eats very well indeed!

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He was almost as thrilled as I was when this latest one dropped through our post box.  The Toddster is a pie afficionado.  A good pie, savoury or sweet, is one of his favourite of all meals.

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Pie is the tenth cookbook by the award-winning Global Baker and pâtissier Dean Brettschneider and it includes recipes and detailed instructions for over 80 mouth watering pies.

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Hearty meat pies, seafood pies vegetarian pies, not-quite-pies (including chocolate whoopie pies!) and a collection of sweet pies are accompanied by stunning photography throughout.

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Nearly every recipe is accompanied by a gorgeous photograph which, for me, is a key component in enticing me to try a new recipe.   I do so love food photography and find it so much more interesting to peruse a cookbook with great photos.

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There is a section on basic recipes from sweet and short pastries to puff pastry and most importantly, thorough descriptions and photographs to help you along, plus tips on decorating for creating that show stopping finish!

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I haven't been able to find a recipe in this delicious book that I don't want to try.  Seriously.  It is sure to become a fast favourite in my cookbook library.   The proof is in the eating however, and so . . .

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I really wanted to pick a recipe to make from the book and I don't mind telling you I was very hard pressed to pick one.  This delicious looking twist on the traditional Shepherd's Pie really captured my eye however and I knew it would be something that Todd would really enjoy!

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The instructions were clear and concise and the recipe was very simple to execute.  Not only did it look really nice when it was done but it tasted delicious as well!  I think that most people would be able to cook this and the other recipes look just as easy.  And to be honest, his instructions and the photography are simply so well done, I can't see anyone having a problem at all.  I give this book a resounding 10+ out of 10!

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*Untraditional Shepherd's Pies*
Serves 4
A delicious twist on an old classic from Global Baker Dean Brettschneider! 

1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 TBS plain flour
500g lean minced lamb or beef (a generous pound)
2 TBS tomato puree
1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
(I used 1/2 TBS dried)
a generous splash of Worcestershire Sauce
500ml beef stock (2 cups)
salt and pepper to taste 

For the Crispy Herb Potato Topping:
800g potatoes, scrubbed clean (1 3/4 pound)
2 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 TBS chopped rosemary
(I used 1/2 TBS dried rosemary, crushed in the morter and pestle)
1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
(I used 1/2 TBS dried, crushed along with the rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste
4 TBS chopped fresh chives
100g strong cheddar cheese, grated (scant cup)

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion and carrot.  Cook, stirring for a few minutes.  Add the flour and cook for a few minutes longer, whilst continuing to stir.  When the carrots are soft add the mince and turn up the heat.  Brown, stirring to ensure all the mince is broken up into crumbly bits.

Add the tomato puree, thyme and Worcestershire sauce. Fry for  few more minutes, then add the stock.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Simmer on low for about 40 minutes, uncovering after 20 minutes and stirring from time to time.  Season to taste and keep hot whilst you prepare the crispy potatoes. 

Wash and scrub the potatoes.  Cut into halves or quarters and then boil in plenty of salted water just until al dente.  You want them firm as you are going to fry them.  Drain and cool a little before cutting into small rough cubes.  

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan.  Add the garlic, potatoes, rosemary and thyme.  Fry until crisp and golde brown.   Season with some salt and pepper.   Toss with half of the chives.
Spoon the hot mince into 4 preserving jars, dividing it equally amongst them.  (You will need 4 X 500ml preserving jars/2 cup jars)  Top the mince with a good sprinkle of the grated cheddar and the rest of the chives and the top with the crispy herve potatoes.  Lightly season again and serve immediately.  (I added an additional sprinkle of cheddar on top and a few chives, just because!)

First published in New Zealand in 2012, this 224 page hardback book will be available in the UK on the 17th of October 2013 published by Jacqui Small LLP. You can pre-order it now from Amazon at a discounted price. 

Book: Pie: Delicious Sweet and Savoury Pies and Pastries, From Steak and Onion Pie to Pecan Tarts
Author: Dean Brettschneider
ISBN: 9781909342187
Publication Date: 17 October 2013
Cover: Hardback
RRP: £25 

I did receive a review copy of this book at no charge, but I assure you wholeheartedly my opinions are my own.


  1. I love Shepherd's Pie and this looks wonderful!

  2. Everyone's recipe is always so different:)

    beef..lamb.. peas..no peas..corn..no corn..creamed corn..
    This looks fun..and the presentation so cute:)

  3. I love cookbooks Marie and always hubby think I have a lot of magazines and books and I love all sometimes I cannot by a book but I review mine own and alwaysfind something new!!
    Love this pies look amazing I love piestoo likeTodd!!
    Send you hugs and love!xoxo

  4. Dean's recipes are always awesome!!!!

  5. Oh wow! That looks amazing.

    Yes, you can never have too many cook books. I hope to pick up a few when out at garage sales tomorrow

  6. Wow, it's like glamour shepherd's pie! Looks delicious! I haven't made shepherd's pie in forever, and never the traditional lamb version. It's awfully hard to find good lamb here, and when you do, it costs a mint!


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