Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dining With Doc: Cottage Pie

You may recall a film last year. Julie and Julia starred Amy Adams and Meryl Streep as Julie Powell and Julia Child. In the film, Julie undertook the daunting task of preparing every one of the 524 recipes in Julia's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And, she was going to complete in a single year and blog about her experience.

I liked the film. It, along with my wife and a few friends, has inspired me to start a similar journey. Though it will in no way compare to that of Julie Powell's. My journey will be to prepare one recipe every other week. It will be a recipe found in a Disney park or resort and found (most likely) in one of the Cooking with Mickey Cookbooks I've purchased over years. And since I have a blog, I thought I'd share it here. I'll call these little gastronomic gallivants, Dining with Doc.

For the this foray into the kitchen, we begin with Cottage Pie from the Rose & Crown Pub in the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot. The recipe can be found on page 189 of Cooking with Mickey, Volume 2. We'll start with the ingredients.

1/4 cup of butter
1 cup diced onion
1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground savory
1 cup brown gravy
2 cups mashed potatoes
Additional butter
To prepare the dish:

1. Heat 1/4 cup of butter in a 9-inch skillet. Add onion and cook until lightly browned, stirring.
2. Add beef, salt, pepper and savory and continue cooking 5 minutes longer. Stir in gravy and heat until bubbling.
3. Spoon into a buttered 8-cup flat casserole dish. Top meat mixture with mashed potatoes. Dot with pieces of butter.
4. Bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.
The result!

A few notes. First, finding ground savory was a problem - not a spice used that often in the mid-south so it isn't stocked in the main line groceries or super markets. You can use thyme or sage as a substitute. I used a mixture of some fresh thyme from my herb garden and little rubbed sage from the cupboard. Also, when I repeat the recipe (and I will), I'll remember to whip the potatoes a little less than I did this first time. I would have preferred them to be a bit thicker.

All in all, a good first outing. No one left the table looking for something else to eat.

I'm not sure what I'll be cooking up next time, but stayed tuned for the continuing adventures of Dining with Doc.


Debbie said...

This is very cool Greg, all looks SO professional.
I actually had Shepherds pie for dinner a couple nights ago, but I have to say, your's looks and sounds most delicious.
Well done.

DisneyPixarFanatic said...

Wow! Great job at creating such a proffessional blog. Congratulations at winnipeg a top disney site award. I love the effort you put into the blog!
Check ours out sometime if you're into Disney..

disneytravelblog said...

Very cool! I'll be happy to share the link with my readers, I'm sure they'll enjoy following along.