Andouille Shepherd's Pie From Chef Paul Recipe 
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Andouille Shepherd's Pie From Chef Paul
Who doesn't like shepherd's pie? If you find anyone who says "I don't," let 'em taste just a few bites of this version, and they'll probably beg for more! You can use a food processor with a julienne disk-if it's very sharp-to save time when preparing the vegetables. Buy one large red bell pepper and one large yellow bell pepper, and use half of each for the julienne strips and the other half for the chopped peppers.

Seasoning Mix:

4 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Meat Magic

1¾ teaspoon dry mustard

1¾ teaspoon ginger

½ pound andouille, or your favorite smoked sausage

6 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, about 6 pounds

1 cup heavy cream

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, in all

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup julienne onion

½ cup julienne carrot

½ cup julienne red bell peppers

½ cup julienne yellow bell peppers

½ cup chopped red bell peppers

½ cup chopped yellow bell peppers

½ cup chopped green bell peppers

1 cup chopped onions

¾ cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic

2 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Pepper Sauce®

One 12-ounce can evaporated milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1½ pounds ground beef

1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.

Boil the potatoes in 2 quarts of water until tender, about 30 minutes. In a mixer, mash the potatoes with the cream, 6 tablespoons of the butter, 2¼ teaspoons of the seasoning mix, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover the mashed potatoes and set them aside. Resist the temptation to eat the potatoes right now!

They're rich and tasty, with a light gold color and a pleasant light seasoning level.

Coarsely grind the andouille in a food processor or meat grinder and set it aside.

Combine all the julienne strips of onions, carrots, and red and yellow bell peppers, and season them with 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix.

In a 10-inch skillet melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. When the butter begins to sizzle, add all the chopped vegetables-the three colors of bell peppers, onions, celery, and garlic-and 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix. Cook, almost constantly stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen the brown bits, until the vegetables begin to brown, about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the Magic Pepper Sauce, and continue to cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Wow! The flavor now is hot but sweet. The vegetables are just barely crunchy and losing their brightness. Add the evaporated milk and eggs and stir rapidly until they are fully combined.

Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, bubbles constantly, and is a beautiful yellow-gold color, about 4 to 5 minutes. Now the sweetness comes forward, the heat follows and lingers briefly. This mixture's dominant taste is that of a well seasoned omelet, with a richly seasoned vegetable "filling." Refrigerate until cold.

Combine the ground andouille, ground beef, bread crumbs, and 2 the remaining seasoning mix in a large bowl. Mix with a sturdy spatula, using a downward, chopping stroke to help distribute the meat and bread crumbs without over-mixing the meat (which would release too much of the protein in the meat and make it mushy after cooking). When the ingredients appear to be fairly evenly mixed, fold in the chilled vegetable mixture, again being careful not to over-mix the meat.

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Spread the meat in the bottom of a 13-inch by 10-inch by 2-inch deep casserole. Spread the julienne vegetable strips evenly over the meat, then, using a large tip on a pastry bag, pipe the mashed potatoes over all. If you don't have a pastry bag, use a heavy-duty plastic zipper bag with a ½-inch opening cut from a bottom corner. Or simply spread the potatoes evenly with a knife, making decorative swirls if you wish.

Be creative-have fun!

Bake until the top is tinged with golden brown, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to be reabsorbed into the food.

Makes 8 generous servings.

AUTHOR: Chyrel

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