Friday, October 3, 2008

Pie for dinner

The debate: is it Chinese Pie or Shepherd's Pie? What the heck is the difference anyway?

Chinese Pie, known as pâté chinois by the French Canadians, contains beef, corn and potatoes. Shepherd's Pie, on the other hand, contains the same beef and mashed potatoes but also includes peas, carrots, onions, and beef stock.

Being a New England girl, I grew up eating Chinese Pie but my family, of English decent, always called it Shepherd's Pie. So you can imagine my confusion when Matt called his mother's version Chinese Pie! We've been debating this issue for years (not intensely ... we're not that lame!). I've always resisted changing what I call it, but now I see that they truly are different ... and I've been eating Chinese Pie.

Chinese Pie
1 pound ground beef
10-ounce box frozen corn, defrosted
8-ounce can creamed corn
Mashed potatoes (prepared your favorite way, using 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brown ground beef, drain and spread evenly in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Layer defrosted corn on top of the ground beef. Pour creamed corn on top of corn layer. Spread mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the dish. Be careful not to squish your filling as you apply the potatoes or it will spill over the edges of the pie plate. Sprinkle the potatoes with freshly ground black pepper.

Place pie plate on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Allow the pie to cool for 10 minutes before digging in. (This will allow it to firm up a bit and make it easier to slice and serve.)

So here's one last question for you: cheese or no cheese?

Personally, I say ick to cheese ... well, in this recipe anyway. Any other time I'd say, "cheese? Yes please!"

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