1. When your half-English friend says that you should cook British food while watching Downton Abbey every week, you say yes.
2. You then try to pay enough attention that you can at least pass along the recipes, since your kitchen can only hold 2 at a time. [Otherwise everyone would be invited, obviously.]
Oh Downton, I'm very fond of you. I don't even care when the story lines are slow or contrived. It hooked me enough in the first fabulous season that I'll watch till it's off the air. And the clothes! The clothes might be the prettiest part of my week. A few random thoughts about this week's episode, without giving anything away (though from now on I reserve the right to talk about spoilers):
- Apparently when you're a married female you automatically get breakfast in bed? And it's actually considered weird to get out of bed? Nice perk! I would have been much more bummed than Edith was to miss out on that.
- Maggie Smith, laying down some cold hard truth, as usual: "Edith dear, you're a woman with a brain...and reasonable ability. Quit whining and find something to do."
- I think I love Matthew even more as a sibling to everyone than as a husband to Mary. Last week with Tom and this week with Edith - he's just so smiley and supportive (and snarky, when they need a kick in the pants). I wish he were my big brother.
- And this doesn't have anything to do with Episode 4, but has everything to do with my lasting fidelity:
Downton on Instagram. Favorite ever.
And now for the food!
SHEPHERD'S COTTAGE PIE
I'm calling it that, because Alice explained that it's shepherd's pie if you use lamb, and cottage pie if you use beef, and we used both and the shepherd would probably live in a cottage anyway amiright? Anyway, she did the majority of the cooking while I asked her how to make it and cut myself while peeling potatoes, so I have very general guidelines, and none of my own pictures this week. I'll stay more focused next week.
Saute diced carrots, celery, onions, shallots, and garlic in pot/dutch oven on medium low. Increase temperature and add one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground lamb. Cook together until meat is browned. Add worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and beef broth to add moisture (but you don't want everything drowning in the liquid. Paddling along nicely with its head above water, more like). Throw in some flour. Add salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.
Meanwhile, boil and mash enough potatoes to create a lovely lid for the whole thing. Add milk, sour cream, egg....whatever you generally do for your own mashed potatoes. [I recognize that mashed potatoes are a surprisingly personal thing. Who knew, for such an unassuming vegetable?]
When the potatoes are ready, add peas to the filling, and put that in an oven-safe dish. Layer the potatoes on top, and put in the oven for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees (or until the top starts to turn brown and it's bubbling).
Eat as much as you want while talking in British accents and discussing how terrible Daisy is.