Selfish Shepherd’s Pie (originally: kartofelnye zrazy)

Hello everyone!

Today, I would like to introduce to you my 8 year-old brothers favorite meal!

This is a spin on a traditional kартофельные зразы (kartofelnye zrazy), a very common dish in Ukrainian cuisine. It reminded me a lot of Shepherd’s Pie, a common North American dish! Of course, I had to fuse them together. I think the essence of both dishes compliments each other very well!

First off, throw some potatoes in a pot and begin boiling them! Make sure you find one that is smiling, it’ll bring happiness to your meal! (Joking, but isn’t it cute anyways?)

Rub-a-dub-dub, potatoes in a hot tub!

While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the onions and brown the ground beef in a pan. Add in seasoning while it’s cooking to spice up the flavor! And, because I try to sneak in veggies when I can (and this is a spin on Shepherd’s Pie right?), add in some frozen peas and corn!

Browned meat with peas and corn

When your potatoes are done boiling (they are soft when pierced with a fork or spoon), start peeling them. Make sure to do it while they’re still warm! Why? Because you will need to mash them up right after!

Is it me, or is it a little chilly over here?

Ouch…

Now, you may be wondering: Why am I boiling them WITH the skin when they’re just going to be mashed later?! Here’s the answer: you can totally cook them without the skin. Or even use the mashed potatoes you just found in your fridge from a week ago. But trust me, this way, even if it’s harder, will taste better! It’s a family secret. Shh…

Now, to prepare for assembling these bad boys: pour some Italian Bread Crumbs on a plate. If you’re not feeling so fancy just ordinary bread crumbs will do. Or just flour… Been there, done that.

Feeling fancy, eh?

Now, this part is the trickiest: but don’t worry, we can totally do this. First, take a heaping tablespoon of the warm potato mash and place it in your palm (wash your hands first!). With your other hand, press down on the sphere until it forms a thin patty. Then, place a tablespoon or so of filling inside the center of the potato. Start curling your hand (the one with the meat and potatoes in it) and with your other hand help close the seam. Now, if some of the meat escapes, or you have holes because the potato was made too thin: no worries. Grab some more potato and mash and cover the hole. It’ll be our little secret.

Mmm.. Years of practice.
Kidding, you got this on the first try didn’t you? 🙂

Start up the fire! Heat a griddle, or a pan, on medium heat and add in enough oil to cover the surface area and place these pies down!

FEEL THE SIZZLE!

Once the bottom is golden brown, flip it over.

My griddle heats unevenly. Sigh.

When both sides are golden brown, put it on a paper towel lined plate! You can serve it immediately, or, when cooled, place in an air tight container and refrigerate!

Finished! Missing: sour cream. I couldn’t wrestle it away from my parent’s hands.

Finally, make sure you serve it with smetana (sour cream!).

Recipe

serving: around ~20 Selfish Shepherd’s Pie

  • 13 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup durum flour (or all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons canola, olive or sunflower oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 1 cup ground beef/pork
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bread crumbs (or flour)
  • oil for frying
  • smetana (sour cream) (optional: only if you’re lactose intolerant)
  1. put the UNPEELED potatoes in a pot and bring to a boil, you can check when they’re done by piercing with a fork or knife: they should be soft.
  2. while the potatoes are boiling, sauté the onions for 2 minutes in oil, over medium heat. Then, add in meat.
  3. When the meat is browned (make sure to mix occasionally, so it doesn’t clump), add in the frozen peas and corn. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid.
  4. Once potatoes are done boiling, run them under cold water to make peeling easier.But make sure they’re still warm when you peel them.
  5. Add in the salt, flour and oil and mash them up!
  6. Put bread crumbs on a plate.
  7. First, take a heaping tablespoon of the warm potato mash and place it in your palm (wash your hands first!). With your other hand, press down on the sphere until it forms a thin patty. Then, place a tablespoon or so of filling inside the center of the potato. Start curling your hand (the one with the meat and potatoes in it) and with your other hand help close the seam. Now, if some of the meat escapes, or you have holes because the potato was made too thin: no worries. Grab some more potato and mash and cover the hole.
  8. Heat up the griddle or frying pan with oil and place them on. You should hear a distinct sizzle.
  9. Once the bottom is golden brown, flip them over.
  10. Remove once both sides are golden and place on a paper-toweled lined plate.
  11. Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that if you would like to use leftover mashed potatoes: that’s totally OKAY! Just make sure to warm it up before you use them so they’ll be easier to mold, and don’t forget to add flour as well. Follow the rest of the steps (filling and assembly) as written (but keep in mind proportion may be different) and they should turn out well.

Have a great day everyone!

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4 thoughts on “Selfish Shepherd’s Pie (originally: kartofelnye zrazy)

  1. Pingback: Mama’s Sour Cherry Pie « CanUkie Kitchen

  2. Pingback: General Tso Dipping Sauce | CanUkie Kitchen

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