My Fake Shepherd Pie

I'm here to announce that I've failed to go on to the next Project Food Blogger challenge but it's fine with me. I am really proud of myself at least I've tried. Besides of that I'm truly HAPPY because I have a bunch of great friends and supporters around me. I think this is the greatest gift. These are the things that money can't buy! In return, I'm going to give everyone a good & comforting treat. haha...

It's my fake Shepherd pie! Why I called it a fake Shepherd pie? Shepherd pie is a classic English pie which is very rich in flavour and it must be cooked with either beef or lamb. I can imagine the aroma of those beefy and lamby smell that splash onto your face once you're digging in it. But as for a non-beef eater like me and my family, we will never be able to enjoy the real Shepherd pie. So, I make a fake one instead! haha....

And here's what I did.
Ingredients for base meat : (for 4 small pies)
300gm chicken thigh, minced
1 tspn chinese 5 spice
salt & pepper to taste
a dash of crashed black peppercorn
1 small can green beans
1 large onion, diced
3 tbsp red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp flour
200ml chicken broth

Seasoning paste :
1 tspn curry powder
1/2 tspn turmeric powder
1/4 tspn cumin powder
1 tbsp water
(combine all to form a smooth paste)

Method :
(1) marinade minced chicken with salt & pepper, 5 spice and crashed black peppercorn.
(for about 1/2 hour)
(2) preheat frying pan with butter, saute diced onion untill fragrant.
(3) add in green beans and continue saute for about one minute.
(4) stir in seasoning paste and saute untill fragrant.
(5) add in marinated meat and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
(6) stir in red wine, tomato puree and a dash of Worcester sauce, simmer untill everything is well combined.
(7) add in chicken broth and let it simmer untill thicken.
(if you prefer juicier base, just reduce the simmering time)
(8) off the heat, then add in flour and mix well.

Ingredients for potato topping :
500gm potatoes, cubed
100ml milk
50gm butter
a dash of salt

Method :
(1) boil potatoes untill soft & tender.
(2) off the heat, drained and mashed the potatoes while it's still hot.
(3) stir in butter & milk untill well mixed and smooth.
(4) place the mashed potatoes into piping bag.

To Assemble :
(1) fill in ramekins with cooked chicken meat about 80% full.
(2) then cover the top with mashed potatoes.
(3) sprinkle a dash of Parmesan cheese and bake at 190'C for about 30mins or untill slightly brown.
I know I don't have to use chicken meat in this recipe. I have other choices like turkey meat or duck meat but the thing is I don't buy a whole turkey or duck just to get the meat. One turkey will probably cost me about RM$100! You know what I mean! Our local market don't sell separate meats for duck and turkey.
I have tried the common Shepherd pie recipe with chicken meat but that is not what I want. Chicken meat basically is very plain & less flavour compare to other meat. I want something strong! ^_^ So, I decided to use Chinese 5 spice and a little curry mixture in this recipe and not over powering the flavour at the same time.
I think the colour looks perfect! It has much stronger flavour compare to other chicken Shepherd pie and it smell great as well. I am truly satisfied with the result. And hope whoever try this will like it too.
Before ending this, I wonder have anyone of you came across anything Licorice ??? If you're interested in anything Licorice, you may enter here or here to check out the products. My dear friend, Andrea owns the store. She won 2009 Best Gourmet Grocery Store Award last year and I hope she will be able to win this year title as well. Wishing you all the best, Andrea! You will definitely have my VOTE, here.
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