Friday, February 13, 2015

Beef and Potato Pie

While there are more and more cookbooks these days that deal with single ingredients, Melissa's DYPs: The Perfect Everyday Potato Cookbook is unique in that it focuses on one specific type of potato - the Dutch Yellow Potato. It's a waxy potato with an interior that's more yellow than your average spud.

Of course, that doesn't mean you're doomed if you don't happen to have that specific potato on the day you want to make a recipe from this book. Sure, it's nice to hunt down the right one. But you can still use this book if you need to make some substitutions.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I got this book from Melissa's. I thought it might be all potatoes, all the time. Multiple side dishes. Many potato-centric dishes.

But there were also a whole lot of recipes where potatoes were a component, but not necessarily the star of the dish. Since I'm a big fan of potatoes, I was happy with both options.

The first recipe I tried was the DYP Beef Pie, with a base of ground beef a filling of shredded potatoes, and a topping of shredded cheese. It was interesting, as it was, but it also opens the door for all sorts of customizations, like adding jalapenos and salsa, or adding shredded carrots and green beans. Or whatever makes sense to you.

DYP Beef Pie
Adapted from Melissa's DYPs

Cooking spray (I think you can do without this)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 cups chopped onion, divided (check my note before you chop*)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups shredded Dutch Yellow Potatoes
8 ounces shredded cheese
1 tomato, chopped, for garnish

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

The instructions suggested spraying a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, but I think you can skip this. But if you want insurance, spray.

Combine the beef, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, 1 cup of chopped onions, eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well, then press onto the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes - I put my springform pan on a baking sheet, just in case it decided to leak juices or fat during cooking. It turns out I didn't need to, but I'd do it again. Just in case.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan on medium heat and cook the potatoes and onions, stirring as needed to keep them from sticking, for 10 minutes. I added some salt and ground pepper to the potatoes, even though it wasn't called for in the recipe. Potatoes usually need a little salt.

Remove the pan from the oven - the beef will be partially cooked. Add the potatoes to the pan, then top with the cheese.

Return the pan to the oven - the instructions said to increase the heat to 375 degrees, but that was the initial temperature ... but I cooked it at 375 both times, with no trouble. Bake until the top is lightly browned - 20-25 minutes is suggested, but it took 35 minutes for me. Adjust cooking time as needed.

When you loosen the springform ring, a lot of fat will drip out, so that's another good reason to have the pan on a baking sheet. I used 2 spatulas to transfer the pie off of the springform base and onto a serving plate.

Slice in wedges to serve. Garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes, if desired.

*I suggest chopping 1 cup to mix with the meat, and cutting thin slices to mix with the potatoes.

I received the book from the publisher at no cost to me.