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Shepherd's Pie with Egri Bikavér ("Bull's Blood of Eger")

It was Sunday and for lunch I decided to attempt the first time at the English 'Shepherd's Pie'.

Eva responded to my call on the Facebook when my status indicated that I was searching for a good recipe. Her recommendation was an American recipe. Shortly before we stepped out to the art movie theatre for 'Harry Brown', I caught a glimpse of the less than two minutes video by Gordon Ramsay. And I requested Zsolt to remind me to buy some cheese as well as a bottle of red wine.

We thought 'Harry Brown' was a good English art movie. It was more like a thriller. (a little about the movie in the next post). Walking on our way home, it was chilly as the real Autumn in Budapest is finally here. I chose a bottle of dry red wine: Egri Bikavér ("Bull's Blood of Eger").

To be honest, I am not really good in picking wine for cooking. This was the first time buying it without a Hungarian reading the label for me. I tried anyway.


As this wine from the infamous Eger is an internationally known wine, it has a nice 'Superbrands' label. So it comes with English description about how the 'Bull's blood' comes from.
Quite useful information for an amateur cook like me :)
With a little modification, I made the Shepherd's Pie. Shall I call it the cottage pie instead? Actually I didn't use lamb. It was minced meat (pork) but for pork it is great to go with a red wine. The next substitute that made this first attempt turned out great was the Gouda cheese I think. From our last trip, I learned that Gouda is a cheese specially from Holland. And it turned out really creamy and good.

Shepherd's Pie is quite easy to make (in my opinion as a first timer making it). Zsolt's verdict was 10/10, quite good for a first attempt! :)

I also didn't add the tomato puree as required in the recipe. Instead, I added tomato ketchup even though I bought tomato puree almost ready to add them for this dish. But I held back and thought maybe next time. So that was one of the less risky risk I took :)

The first steps was to dice the carrots and onions. I just added a medium sized carrot and one medium sized onion. I sauteed them and added some minced garlic. My grandmother-in-law bought me a special garlic mincer and it had been such a great tool for me ever since our wedding day.

Then add the minced meat and thyme. I also seasoned it with salt and pinch of pepper. The entire mixture started to give a very nice aroma that filled the entire kitchen. It was the green peas and wine next.

While this part was simmering away, I was peeling the skins of the potatoes to make mashed potato for the pie's top crust.

It was the most tedious to make mashed potato, but it was well worth the effort.

The American recipes ask to add 'Half and Half' cream. It is a half whole milk and half cream. And usually, I substituted it with the Hungarian Sour Cream which never go wrong! ;) Do I have to say more? The sour cream is always so delicious and yummy.

So the assembling part is to put the minced meat mixture and top it with the mashed potatoes. Final topping is the grated cheese :) and 'viola!'

I baked it for 20 minutes at about 200ºC and this is the result of my first Shepherd's Pie. Delish!

Shepherd's Pie with Egri Bikavér ("Bull's Blood of Eger") Reviewed by Zannnie on 4:43:00 PM Rating: 5
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