I got a major compliment last week at work....
I don't know if I told you all, but I got a promotion several weeks ago at work. I'm not the night-time lead line cook here at the country club. Not really that different than what I was already doing, assisting the lead line cook (apparently I can out-cook him, as he let me do most of the prep and ideas for specials).
The boss told me that we had a lot of lamb left over from a function, and I needed to use it. So, in light of the weather, (really, really, crappy), I told the Chef that I could make a Shepherd's Pie with the lamb.
I had Rack of Lamb to work with, already seared, but med-rare. I cut the meat from the bones, sauted the bone, and made a good stock with classic mirepoix. Once the stock was done, I browned the cubed (I know, not traditional, but I like to see nice-sized chunks in my food) the lamb up, seared it over high heat, then added diced mirepoix, diced turnips, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Deglaze with red wine, then add the stock I made, boil, and simmer until done. Oh, the heavenly aroma!
I dished the "stew" into some casserole boats, and used some of my usual excellent mashed Yukon Golds to pipe some Dutchess Potatoes over the dish.
Well, I knew it was good. I cooked one (out of 10 prepped) and let the waitstaff taste that, along with the other specials on Friday night for line-up. The waitstaff agreed.
Saturday, the PRESIDENT OF THE CLUB and his wife ordered one each. I cooked it, made sure the sides were attractively arranged, and sent them out. About 15 - 20 minutes later the food & beverage manager (who usually expo's) came back and asked one question about the Shepherd's Pie, which I answered, and then said the Pres. said is was one of the best he's ever had. And, that coming from him, was a big compliment, as he normally doesn't hand them out.
I was tickled pink all night long. I've got a picture of what the dish looks like. Maybe I'll upload it here soon, once we get back online at the house.
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!