Hachis Parmentier (Shepherd’s Pie)

Cookbooks make awesome presents to give and to receive. Recently, I received Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.

It has three requisites for a good cookbook: 1) pictures, lots of glossy photographs, 2) Easy to follow recipes with suggestions for swapping out ingredients, and 3) Context, a good back story. The photos in this book are gorgeous starting with the cover recipe for a baked lemon chicken in bread dough. Each recipe is sprinkled with “bonne idees” for what to serve with the dish and variations on the recipe in case you don’t have the exactingredient or want to experiment. Not only a cookbook, it is also chock full of annecdotes. The recipe for Hachis Parmetier from Chef Alain Ducasse is a type of Shepard’s Pie that his mother used to make when he was growing up in a small town north of Paris. I am tickled just thinking how I am making the very same recipe for my petite gourmand.

Ingredients

For Beef and Bouillon

1# cube steak or boneless beef chuck, cut into small pieces (or stew chuck or ground beef)

1 small onion
1 small carrot
1 small celery stalk
2 garlic cloves
2 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp peppercorn
6 cups water
1/2 beef bouillon cube

For filling
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 # sausage, sweet
1 tsp tomato paste
salt and freshly ground pepper

For the topping
2 #s Idaho (russet) potatoes
1/2 c. whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp butter cut into bits
salt and pepper
1/2 c. grated Gruyere, Comte or Emmenthal
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

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