Saturday, October 8, 2011

Classic Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas & carrot (thawed)
500g lamb or beef mince
2 tbs plain flour
500ml (2 cups) water
1 dried bay leaf
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs tomato paste
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

4 (about 200g each) desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
40g butter
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
Melted butter, to brush

As for the pie crust, I use this fail safe recipe from Simply Recipes site, soft crumbly and so easy to make.
click here


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add mince and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until meat is browned.

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until combined. Add stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile: cook potato in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Return to the pan with the butter. Use a potato masher or fork to mash until smooth. Add milk and use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Roll out the pastry and roll onto a 2L (8-cup) capacity ovenproof baking dish. Cut or trim the dough with a knife or a pair of kitchen scissors.

Spoon meat mixture onto the pastry lined dish. Top with mashed potato and use a fork to spread over lamb mixture. Brush with butter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until mashed potato is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Keropok Lekor (Malay Fish Sausage)

Besides my own mum, my mother in law is a great cook in her own right. She is currently visiting and as usual I love learning to make traditional dishes from her. One of which is the Malay fish sausage or better known as keropok lekor.

It can be boiled or fried and best eaten with sweet chili sauce. Its made purely of fish and tapioca starch to bind the fish together. Keropok lekor is a favourite afternoon or breakfast snack.

2 kg fresh sardines (selayang) or pilchard(tamban)
filleted and cleaned
tapioca flour
salt to taste (1 teaspoon works for me)


Once all fish is filleted and cleaned, weigh or measure with a salad bowl. 2 kg of fillets will normally yield 2 salad bowls, so you will need 1 bowl of tapioca starch. so always remember whatever measurement of the fillet, the flour is always 2:1.

Mix fillet, flour and salt in a bowl. Blend in a food processor until fine. Tip onto a floured surface and roll into sausages.

Prepare boiling water. Once water is boiled, add sausages and once they float up to the surface, you can start fishing them out.

These boiled sausages can be kept frozen until you need to fry of just re-boil them.

Serve hot with sweet chili sauce.

I found a good chili sauce recipe on the net, tweaked it and here it is...

Chili sauce:

1 cup blended chili (cili boh)
1 cup tamarind juice (tamarind flesh soaked in 1 cup water)
1 cup sugar
1 piece palm sugar (gula melaka)
1 cup water
a pinch of salt

Mix the all the above and simmer on medium heat until the liquid turns thick in consistency.
Cool and serve.