14 January 2011

Mexican Shepherd's Lasagne

I've mentioned already today that the last few days have necessitated quick comfort food. I'm something of an expert at whipping up meals that make me feel better - but only for myself. Tom isn't generally a fan of what I, personally, think of as comfort food. And the lack of decent cheese in Korea has hindered my ability in this area somewhat. (No, I will never stop going on about how much I miss cheese. It's even mentioned in my about me section - that's how deeply I'm affected by this.)

I had defrosted some mince yesterday, so decided that I wanted shepherd's pie. Unfortunately I didn't have the energy for mashing potatoes, and we'll be having shepherd's pie next week anyway (an annual celebration - I'll attempt to explain more at the time). So I thought - tortilla pie. And immediately discarded that thought, because we'd had tortillas the night before. In the end I went for a combination of the two, with a little bit of lasagne-esque layering thrown in - I'm just cool like that.

Dinner was pretty good, with the comfort factor of being able to eat it with a spoon, although the potatoes retained enough crunch to make it just on the wrong side of comfort food. Not necessarily a bad thing. This could easily be made vegetarian following the recipe for mince from the tortilla pie recipe rather than including mince.

Oh, and I shall warn you before you look at the recipe and pictures: this is not a pretty meal.

Mexican Shepherd's Lasagne
(Printable Recipe)
Serves 4 with a side.

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 chilli pepper
1 pack of mince (250g)
6 small potatoes
2 tablespoons gravy powder
300ml tomato sauce
Pinch of cinnamon and anchovy powders
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 tin kidney beans
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or sour cream
Grated cheese

Chop the onion, garlic and chilli and fry until softened. Add the mince and stir, breaking up any large clumps, until browned. Sprinkle with gravy powder.

In the meantime, slice the potatoes into thin discs and boil on a medium-high heat until easily pierced with a fork. Peel them first, if you like.

Add the tomato sauce to the mince, along with cinnamon, anchovy, sugar and chilli to taste. Reduce for ten minutes, then add the kidney beans and red wine. (I also added leftover mashed beans from the night before, to thicken the sauce a little - you could skip this step, or mash some beans before adding to the pan.) Cook for a further five minutes before adding a tablespoon of mayonnaise or sour cream to the mince and stirring through.

Drain the potatoes and allow to cool for a moment. In a deep oven dish, spread 1/3 of the mince mixture, cover with 1/3 of the potatoes, and sprinkle a little bit of cheese on top. Repeat until all the ingredients have been layered, using a heavier hand with the cheese on top. Bake at 200 degrees (390 Fahrenheit) for twenty minutes.