Did you watch Gordon Ramsay’s “cook along show” on Friday night??? As you can probably tell by all the TV I’m watching at the moment there’s not much socialising going on in the Italian foodie house. A sick 14 month old plays havoc with one’s social life and sleeping patterns, 1 full night’s sleep since New Year’s Eve and counting and if one more person tells me “ah well that’s the joys of it”, I’LL SMACK THEM:) We’ve had a rough few weeks with other things going on too so we’ve decided to whisk ourselves off to Italy in March or April – it’s about time the princess got to meet her Italian aunts and uncles and see where she is going to spend her summers for the next 18 years. We haven’t been in 2 years so I can’t wait, bring on the food:) I’ll do a full report of course so you can see for yourself what I’m always going on about!!

Anyway back to Gordon and his cook along show, did any of you actually cook along?? The menu was quite nice and simple, I will definitely try the scallops as I have never cooked them before even though I have a load of recipes bookmarked and Superquinn always have them in stock. I found the whole show to be a bit too frantic and I was getting dizzy watching it, he came across a bit hyper I thought!! I presumed the whole point was to get people  cooking at home and to enjoy it but I would have been stressed out if I had followed him, I never checked the website, maybe you had to prepare before the show started??? Chris Moyles was funny but was so busy and stressed he hardly talked but there were a few laughs and I do think it’s good TV, it beats Pat Kenny hands down anyway:)

I love Shepherd’s pie and although it does take a little time to prepare it is sooooo worth it. I find the easiest and quickest way to make it is to make the mash the night before, we had a couple of fillets with Parmesan mash and spinach and kale(recipe to follow) on the side so I just made extra mash!! Bru had seen Gordon making Shepherd’s pie a couple of weeks back so I looked up the recipe and it is very similar to the way the MIL makes it but she doesn’t use thyme and the Worcestershire sauce so I added them in just to be a little bit “crazy”;) Now there is nothing low-fat about this recipe as the mash is very important and no cutting calories people, if you are going to make this, make it properly – full fat butter, milk and lots and lots of Parmesan, if not have a salad;) 


what you need: (I made 2 trays which would serve 6-8 people and froze one)

 – olive oil

 – 1kg mince – I used sirloin.

 – 1 carrot finely chopped

 –  onion finely chopped

 – 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 

 – 1 sprig of rosemary and thyme leaves picked and chopped.

 – 2 tbsp tomato puree

 – 300 ml red wine

 – 500 ml chicken stock

 – 50g butter

 – 1.5 – 2kg potatoes (I used Oilean from Superquinn which work really well for mash as they don’t go to “mush”)

 – 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

 – 2 egg yolks

 – milk

 – lots and lots of grated Parmesan, I have no idea of weight but at a guess 8-10 tbsp if not more so don’t be afraid!! Add to taste!

 – olive oil

 – sea salt and black pepper.

what to do for the potatoes:

 – cook your potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water.

 – drain and return to the pot.

 – add butter, milk, Parmesan and a little olive oil and season!!!!

what to do for the filling:

 – preheat the oven to 180 degrees

 – fill the base of a large frying pan with olive oil and cook your onions, garlic and carrot until soft.

 – add your mince and season well and cook over a medium heat until cooked through. With a wooden spoon regularly break up the mince to avoid big lumps of meat.

 – add your worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and herbs and cook for 1-2 mins.

 – add your wine and leave to evaporate.

 – add your stock and leave to simmer until sauce has thickened, about 15-20 mins.

 – grease an ovenproof dish.
 – fill with your meat mix, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and top with your potato. Sprinkle some more Parmesan on top and some knobs of butter.

 – cook in the oven for about 20 mins until the top is crisp and bubbling.

 – serve and enjoy!!! There is no better comfort food for a miserable January:)


buon appetito!!