It was St. Patrick’s Day yesterday and being Irish and away from home I felt no obligation to cook something “Irish” for our dinner. My sister (who is in Ireland) teased me about making sure I made a “good old Irish Dinner” – she was joking of course. We just don’t think about St. Patrick’s day in that way!
Having said that, yesterday, as I was peering into the freezer and deciding on dinner I spied some minced lamb and I couldn’t help feeling a little sentimental and so I pulled it out. Prehaps it was because every second person that I saw was wearing something green (or when driving down town someone was sporting the sign “honk if you’re Irish”)?
I ended up making a dinner that included lamb and potatoes, but, the dish also had chicken and curry flavors. I though the curry would be great with the lamb. I wanted it to be a “dirty only 1 pot” meal so I combined everything into a make-shift scalloped pie. This is something I will certainly make again – no matter what day it is.
You will need: 1 lb minced lamb, 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 big sweet onion, 3 cloves garlic, 3 or 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, 8 medium potatoes, 1 tbs curry powder, 2 tbs flour, 3 tbs unsalted butter, 2 cups chicken broth, freshly ground black pepper & salt for seasoning.
Preheat oven 375*
1 – Wash potatoes and cut into slices (about 1/4″ or just over 1cm) and place in pot and fill with water until just covered. Put lid on and place on high heat on stove-top. When the water comes to a boil, time for 6 minutes (you may have to turn the heat down slightly to avoid the lid hopping up and down off of your pot!). Drain into colander and let the potatoes sit until you need them.
2 – Dice onions, shiitake and finely chop garlic. Put saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of butter. Add the onions and shiitake and cook for about 3 minutes before adding the garlic. Cook for another minute and then add the last tbs of butter, 1 tsp salt, a few grinds of pepper and the lamb. Break up the lamb and cook until meat has browned (about 4 or 5 minutes)
3 – When meat has browned, add curry powder and mix. Add flour and mix and cook for about 2 minutes to allow the flour to cook.
4 – Chop the chicken into small chunks.
5 – Grease a casserole dish with butter and add a single layer of potatoes. Spoon 1/2 of the lamb mixture on top followed by 1/2 of the chicken and a grind of black pepper and a little salt. Add another layer of potatoes, lamb and chicken and end with a layer of potatoes. Pour broth into dish and press everything down with your hands until the broth covers everything. Place in preheated oven for 50 minutes.
The leftovers also made a great lunch.