Tuesday 24 November 2009

Recipe - Pastel de Papas

I bet that quite a large majority of you reading this just went Pastel de what? To be honest, so would I have done up until yesterday.

This is yet another example of me trying to recreate something I've seen on the t'interweb or read about. I was going through the weekends harvest in my RSS reader when I came across a restaurant review from Austin. In this review there was a shot of a dish called Pastel de Papas. That was it, the recipe had to be found and the dish had to be tried.

After some googling and reading I found out some facts about the dish. Apparently it is known as the Argentinean Shepherds Pie. Given the freestyle nature of a normal Shepherds Pie I could not find two recipes that were the same for Pastor de Papas. Something I liked since that gave me a good opportunity to amalgamate the things I liked from the recipes and freestyle it to suit my taste.

As always, freestyle it. If you want to add something - do it. If you want to remove something - do it. I'm pretty sure that I'll get an email from a certain someone going: "It looks really good, if you just removed the eggs" as soon as the recipe has been read. Not a problem, just remove them when you cook it yourself.

I normally make a very creamy mash but for something like this I think I did the right thing by keeping the mash quite firm. As for the serving, I made mine in portion forms but you could make it in one larger oven proof dish. That would make it into more of a family style meal.

While you guys read the recipe I'll be busy planning the next unknown thing I'll try my hand at...

Ingredients (serves 2 - 4)
Olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 - 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
500g minced beef
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Ground cumin
2 tsp Oregano
60 ml red wine
60 ml raisins, soaking in hot water
2 eggs, hard boiled and sliced or chopped
1 200g can of spicy green olives stuffed with pimento, drained and quartered

Mashed potatoes
6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into same sized chunks
Milk or cream, to taste
Unsalted butter, to taste

Egg stop
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water

Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the onion, pepper and garlic. Let this cook for about a minute and then add the minced beef. Cook whilst stirring for another minute. Stir in the paprika, cumin and oregano. Keep cooking, stirring now and then, until the beef is cooked and almost all liquid has disappeared. Add the wine and cook whilst stirring until the wine has evaporated. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Bring water to a boil in a large pan. Add the potatoes and let them cook until soft, test with a knife - don't overcook them. Drain and mash (preferably using a ricer). Add in butter and milk/cream until you get a quite nice and firm consistency. Season well.

Heat the oven to 180c.

While you are waiting for the oven it's time to layer up the ingredients. In a ovensafe dish (or 2 - 4 smaller ones) start by putting in the mince. Layer with the raisins, eggs and olives. Top with the mash. Make the egg stop by whisking together the yolk and water. Brush the mash with the egg stop.

Put it into the oven for about 30 - 40 minutes, or until the mash topping is nice and golden.



  1. I made it and it was so freakin' tasty =) (was cause me and my family ate it all XD)

  2. Mara,

    Yeah, I found this to be well tasty. I'm waiting to hear what one of my colleagues who got one of the individual portions I made. She's having it tonight so I'm awaiting her review tomorrow ;)

    Did you use about the same ingredients as me or did you make it very differently?

    // Mike

  3. Well...because i didn't have green olives stuffed with pimiento i used black olives ;-) and also added some chopped shallots. For the mashed potatoes i added just a dash of nutmeg and even with some change of ingredients it turned out perfect =)
    So... what did your colleague say? :)

  4. Mara,

    Great, that's proper freestyling then ;)

    She loved it, she thought that the raisins and the olives gave it an extra dimension.

    Next time I try it I might go for your idea with nutmeg in the mash. Either that or add some mustard or horseradish in the mash.

    // Mike

  5. Hi mike
    what I lowe when i cook is to ... not follwo the recipe so I understand your point add and remove is routine to me !!
    thanks for the sharing anyway and if you liek french creative food come and visit my blog !! you are very welcome
    Pierre from Paris France


Please leave a comment. Positive or negative - all comments are welcome and useful. I do enjoy hearing what you think of my posts, what is good and what needs improving so please post away.

// Mike