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Pastel de papas

February 2018

Pastel de papas is a typical Chilean dish. It’s a bit like Shepherd’s pie as it consists of 2 layers of creamy mashed potatoes, and a layer of minced meat in between. The recipe was undoubtedly brought to America by the many migrants who travelled there two centuries ago. The dish can be complemented by a choice of olives, egg, capers or even raisons.

Serves 4, preparation time approx. 30 minutes (plus 40 minutes in the oven).

  • 1500 grams of firm potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • butter
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 red pepper cut into chunks
  • 600 grams of minced beef
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1½ teaspoon of chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tin of green olives without kernels
  • 1 to 2 cups of milk
  • Extra: a large oven dish

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Peel the potatoes. Bring the potatoes and the eggs to the boil in plenty of cold salted water. Take the eggs out of the pan after 8 minutes of boiling and quickly hold them under cold running water. Peel and cut into pieces. Boil the potatoes until they are cooked. Drain and leave them on one side to steam until further use.
Heat some butter or oil in a frying pan and gently fry the chopped onion with the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the minced beef, cumin powder, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste and fry until the minced beef is cooked. Mix in the parsley and put aside until later.
Chop the olives. Mash the potatoes with enough hot milk into a firm, creamy mash. Grease the oven dish with butter. Spread half the mash over the bottom of the dish and smooth it out. Spread the minced beef mixture over the mash. Divide the egg and olive pieces over the meat. Cover with the rest of the mash and smooth the top.
Use a fork to decorate the mash with ridges. Cut thin slices of hard butter with a cheese slicer. Divide over the dish and bake for approx. 40 minutes until hot and golden brown.

Ingrid van den Arend, Cook it!


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