Well it’s another Friday so it must be another French Friday with Dorie, where we are cooking through her Around my French Table cookbook. My schedule is pretty crazy and while I cooked ahead, I can’t take too much time to be witty or clever. Maybe just a tiny bit clever.
I’ll hit the highlights, but it’s a little ironic because while I made this a while ago, I’m making beef stew again tomorrow to serve for Homecoming which is tomorrow. Now don’t be afraid of this recipe from its fancy pants name, it’s really just a shepherd’s pie.
Now I don’t know about you, but my shepherd’s pie doesn’t call for sausage. This one does, and while I think it added nice fat, I’m not sure I’d add it again. I think for me it made it a little rich, but try it once and then use your discretion.
I also used some stew meat I had from a local purveyor, Stan Schutte of Triple S Farm at the Urbana Farmers’ Market. The sausage was his too and both meats were delicious. He has organic meat and sells at the market, try him out if you’re local. He has chicken (the best eggs I’ve ever eaten), pork and beef. You can get the staples, but the lesser known stuff too. I have a tub of lard in my freezer as proof.
You put the veg and the beef and simmer like for a stew until the meat is tender. It took me a bit longer than the recipe called for, but I wondered if this was because I used Stan’s stew meat and not cut Dorie used.
A revision I happily made was to use local cheese in lieu of the Gruyere the recipe calls for. I used a wonderful cheese from Prairie Fruit Farm, a local goat cheese farm that is a true gem, not only for the Midwest, but really anywhere. World class farmstead cheese, yum! I used Kaskaskia, a dry parmseany type of goat cheese that was hard and grated up nice. It didn’t get overly melty, but had a great distinctive nutty flavor and worked great.
This is the finished product. You can actually see the steam rising off of it. I tried to wait until it stopped steaming, but couldn’t. It was good, like I said, a little rich, but a small serving with a salad makes a great fall meal.