Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Recipe of the Week- Hachis Parmentier

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This past weekend my husband saw a recipe in the Boston Globe Magazine and thought it looked really good so last night I tried my hand at making it. It's called Hachis Parmentier and it really wasn't to hard to make and was not as fancy as the name makes it seems.

Basically it is a ground beef mixture with mashed potatoes on top. All of the ingredients are things that I always have on hand- except for the gruyere cheese which I omitted because it was $8 for a small block of it at Stop and Shop (yeah, I'm not going to spend $8 on cheese that I don't know if I'll like it and that I most likely will only use a little of and throw the rest away). I also had to substitute regular canned tomatoes for the tomato paste because the can I bought (got for free after a coupon) at Stop and Shop was expired. I cut the recipe in half because the original serves six and even that was a bit too make for my husband and I (the kids would not touch this meal- they are picky little buggers). My husband thought it was delicious as did I and I will definitely make this again. It really is a nice way to use a cheap ingredient like ground beef and elevate it above the everyday recipes like tacos, meatballs and American chop suey.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion (chopped)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
2 1/4 lbs lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (I used dry- fresh herbs are not my forte)
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (used homemade that I had in the freezer)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I used frozen chopped parsley)
6 to 8 medium-large russet potatoes (about 3 pounds) peeled and cut int one inch chunks, rinsed in two changed of water
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
2/3 cup milk of half and half
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 eggs (beaten)
3/4 cup coarsely grated gruyere, about 3 ounces (omitted)

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat up the oil and add the onion, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens, about four minutes. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until no longer pink. Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste for about one minute. Turn the heat down to medium and then add the flour stirring constantly for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the broth and 3/4 teaspoon salt and turn the heat up to high. Bring to a simmer and scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen anything that stuck. Turn the heat to medium-low until the mixture thickens but is still saucy (about 15 minutes). Take the skillet off of the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the bay leaf and add the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the meat mixture into a broiler safe 2-quart casserole dish and spread evenly.

Steam the cut potatoes in a steaming basket set on top of a pan with boiling water for about 20 minutes or until very tender. Use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes (I just used my trusty blender because I don't have a potato ricer). Add the melted butter and once stirred in add the milk or half and half, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and the Parmesan cheese. Let cool and then stir in the beaten eggs.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread the potatoes evenly over the meat mixture making sure it touches all of the edges (to make it easier to spread, plop dollops of the potato mixture all over the meat mixture and spread with a flexible spatula). Sprinkle dish with the gruyere cheese. Bake the dish for about 20 minutes or until the filling is heated through and the potatoes are slightly puffed. Turn on the broiler and broil until the potatoes turn golden brown. 

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