December 17, 2014
Shepherd’s Pie / S.O.S. (Sh*t on Shingles)
I was requested to post this recipe, as one of my friends thought it was already on ManilaSpeak. She was horrified it wasn’t posted yet. I had to send snippets of the recipe via text and forgot to remind her about the mushroom soup. So this one’s for you, Rica!
Shepherd’s Pie is way to use leftover leg of lamb meat into a tasty dish. When Mom started making this dish at home she used pork and beef instead of lamb. Dad would call it S.O.S. and then start laughing. S.O.S. is originally a military dish of creamed beef served on toast. Since we preferred mashed potatoes to toast, Mom always made S.O.S. with mashed potatoes.
This dish is piping hot when it comes out of the oven. Please be careful as many of my guests have burned their tongues because they couldn’t wait to eat. I usually scoop out my serving then leave it on my plate for a few minutes until it cools enough to eat.
When we have leftovers, we keep it in the refrigerator covered with cling wrap. Some friends eat it cold. I prefer it zapped in a microwave for 1 minute or in a toaster oven for about 5 minutes before eating. I’ve never figured out how long it keeps in the refrigerator because my friends always finish it before it spoils.
Because I’ve spent a few years of my life without an oven, I know I really need one. The oven toaster procedure is a method I developed to be able to eat some of my favorite baked food. It doesn’t always work, especially on cakes, but it does the job for savory dishes that need to be baked.
- 1 kilo sliced lamb meat or 500 grams ground beef and 500 grams ground pork
- 1 white onion
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon Worcester sauce
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup leftover gravy from leg of lamb or 1 can mushroom soup
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil for sautéing
- 1 can corn kernels or two cobs fresh corn (optional)
Mashed Potato Ingredients
- 1 kilo large potatoes
- 60 milliliters (4 tablespoons) evaporated milk, you may need more if you want it creamier
- 30 grams (2 tablespoons) butter
- fine sea salt to taste, start with ½ teaspoon
- finely ground white or black pepper to taste, start with ½ teaspoon
- 200 grams cheddar cheese or quick melt cheese
Filling Preparation Procedure
- Preheat oven to 350ºF or 180ºC. Skip this step if you will use an oven toaster.
- Peel and dice white onion. Set aside.
- Get a medium skillet and add cooking oil. Set heat to medium. When pan is hot, add onions and sauté until they are translucent.
- Add meat, soy sauce, Worcester sauce, black pepper, and bay leaf. Continue sautéing for 3 minutes. If using freshly ground pork and beef, continue until meat has a light brown color.
- Add gravy and mix well. If you are using canned mushroom soup, pour mushroom soup over meat, then scrape can clean with a spatula. Mix well.
- Remove from heat and set aside for assembly.
- Open can of corn. Drain well. Set aside. If using fresh corn, remove husk and silk. Slice kernels away from cob and keep in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Grate cheese. Set aside.
Mashed Potato Preparation Procedure
- Get a large pot that can hold all the potatoes and half fill with water. Keep near to where you will peel potatoes.
- Wash potatoes. Make sure to scrub well to remove all dirt. Peel potatoes. Cut in half. Cut each piece in half again, so that you get 4 pieces from each potato. As much as possible, make the pieces approximately the same size so they cook at the same rate. As each potato is peeled and cut, add it to the pot with water.
- Add water to pot until it is 1 inch higher than the potatoes. Transfer to stove. Turn heat on high and bring water to a boil.
- When water is boiling, reduce heat to low and set timer for 15 minutes.
- While waiting for potatoes to cook, place butter and evaporated milk in a small saucepan. Set heat to medium and stir until butter is melted. Set aside. You can also use a microwave. Place butter and evaporated milk in a microwave-safe container. Set power to medium and timer to 30 seconds. When you remove butter and milk mixture from microwave, stir well until blended. Set aside.
- When timer rings, check for doneness by spearing potato with a fork. They are done when you can easily pierce the potato with a fork. If not yet done, set timer to 5 minutes and check again when timer rings. Repeat this step until potatoes are done.
- Drain water from potatoes using a colander. Allow to drain for 1 minute.
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add butter and milk mixture, salt and pepper. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or a fork until potatoes are mashed and butter and milk mixture has incorporated.
- Taste the mashed potatoes. If needed, add evaporated milk to make it creamier, salt and pepper to make it tastier. When adding salt or pepper, add ½ teaspoon at a time. When adding milk, add 1 tablespoon at a time. Make sure to mix well after each addition. Taste the mashed potatoes after you mix to see if you need to add more.
- Set aside for assembly.
- Get an oven-safe ceramic or glass dish with a height of at least 2 inches that will fit in your oven or oven toaster.
- Using a spoon, spread meat filling until it covers the entire bottom of container in an even layer.
- Spread corn kernels evenly over the meat filling.
- Spoon mashed potatoes over corn. Make sure to fill any gaps and to make the top as flat as you can.
- Top with grated cheese.
- Proceed to baking instructions or to toaster oven instructions.
- Place dish in oven.
- Bake for at least 20 minutes or until top has brown. Depending on the cheese you use, it may not brown too much.
- Remove from oven and serve.
Oven Toaster Procedure
- Cover top of dish with aluminum foil. This is to prevent the oven toaster from burning the cheese.
- Place dish in oven toaster and set heat to medium and timer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove aluminum foil. If top has not yet browned, keep heat setting on medium and set timer to 5 minutes.
- When timer rings, remove from oven toaster and serve.
Photos by Rica Palomo-Espiritu
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