I don't know how authentic mine is but I start with leftover roast beef that gets ground into my Kitchenaid meat grinder with a couple of onions.
Place that in the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish. Then, I layer creamed corn, then peas, finished off with a thick layer of mashed potatoes (you can pipe the potatoes if you like), a sprinkle of paprika and a few dots of butter.
Into a 375 - 400 degree F preheated oven it goes on a cookie sheet (to catch drips) until the top gets golden brown. For convection oven, bake at 350 degrees.
Thank you for your kind words about Cretans and the most popular representative, Alex Zorbas.
My recipe of this shepherd’s pie is a Cretan original one.
Lamb Cake from Chanea, Crete (Arnotourta Chanion)
1/2 kg flour
1 glass olive oil
1 kg lean meat (lamb, goat or veal)
1 kg cottage cheese (mizithra)
1 glass staka or butter
salt, cinnamon, pepper, mint.
Boil the meat. Cut into small pieces and sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and pepper. Knead the dough and place half in a lightly oiled oven dish, spreading evenly by hand to cover the whole surface. On top of the dough spread half the cottage cheese and half the staka. Spinkle with a little cinnamon and mint. Add the meat and half a cup of the meat stock in order to soften the dough. Cover with the remainder of the cottage cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon and mint. Roll out a thick sheet of pastry with the remainder of the dough. Place pastry on top of pie and trim edge. Brush top lightly with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a low-heat oven for approximately one hour.
Staka is the traditional Cretan butter made of sheep’s milk. Its taste is distinctive. It’s staka that gives this excellent taste in Cretan dishes.
This pie is delicious. I suggest you not to have much because it’s a very heavy meal although it doesn’t look like!
I prepare it for my friends when we are gathered to watch a football match on TV with a glass of chilled white wine. No more pizzas and plastic food in my house!
What a wonderful post. Your right, the last time I was in Crete I remember seeing all those sheppards. And come to think of it, I think I remember all the pies, wrapped for the long trip, in the trunk of the Lancia...Or was it in line at the McDonalds ? It was a wonderful sight watching all the autos chasing the sheep around. :chef:
PS: from a mans point of view( rare around here) Italian men have it all over Greek men.
This was an accurate description of modern Cretans,Panini.
As a man I do not have preference in men but from what I hear from Greek women they love Italians very very much!
The only problem that they have "reported" is that Italians have the tendency to rob them of their lipsticks and their mascara...
Something that Cretan shephards never do. Too old fashioned maybe- according to western european criteria!
I had shepherds pie in Australia and fell in love with it. Then I had a Canadian penpal, and got a different view.
He says shepherds pie is what most people do for leftover night. Throw some meat and veggies together, throw potatoes on top with cheese, sprinkle on some herbs for good measure, and wala! Dinner for the family.....
The very best Sheppherd's Pie IS made with leftover roast beef. The texture and flavour is very different than just regular ground beef previously sautéed in a pan. Even Shroomgirl says she cooks an extra roast beef just to that end.