tater tot shepherd's pie

it f*%&*$*# snowed this weekend. !!!!!! mid-may. lol. i mean, i don't care that much, i was indoors making hummus all weekend and it gave me a good piece of snapchat content and a conversation starter, but it was just so goofy and awkward to see. do you think the weather gets embarrassed sometimes? like it accidentally tooted? do you think it just meant to let out a little wiz of rain but snow came out instead? it actually could have been kind of bad for the beets though and led to a situation where eggboy would have had to replant a lot of them, but the beeties persevered and lived through the storm, so we're in the clear. yay yipee! 

other than hummus-making and snow-talking-abouting, we had a great weekend that included buying garden plants and making zucchini noodles. we tried to get caught up with game of thrones but i got bored again! is there something wrong with me or do others feel like this season is going at a slug's pace? all i really want to do is watch broad city but i watched them all already. 

oh! and i saved the best thing for last: i'm going to ireland today! i've never been, but i'm so excited and i've been listening to this song over and over and over again. i'm gonna eat butter and drink guinness and pet cows. i truly do not know what to expect other than beautiful scenery because anytime i tell anyone that i'm going to ireland they have a similar reaction to when i told people i was going to hawaii: eyes to the back of the head while muttering "it's suuuuhhhh beeeautifullllllll." do you have any tips? things i should do/eat/see?

in honor of my lift off, i've got an irish-midwest mashup recipe for you that is from imen's book, the farmette cookbook. imen is a gem!!!!! i'm so excited to see her in ireland. the last time we hung out, which was also the first time, i'm pretty positive i was convincing her to take seven shots with me or something along those lines, so now i'm ready for payback and also i have matzo meal in tow because out of all the things in the states that i offered to bring her she requested matzo meal. hehe. 

the farmette cookbook is so so beautiful and amazing. i thought i was a farmy lady but imen is **next level** and she has the epic pie chapter, 45-minute commute to the nearest grocery store, cows in her yard, and homemade tater tots to prove it (!!). all of her stories and recipes are perfect for my upper midwest existence and i've already dug into a few, including her paddy's day potstickers and toad in a hole. 10/10, would absolutely recommend. and now i'm obsessing over this shepherd's pie, which eggboy and i gobbled up in like five minutes. admittedly i completely missed the part in the recipe that says you're supposed to bake and cool the potatoes before turning them into tater tots, but the tots turned out so well regardless. crispy and salty and it's miraculous that any of them actually made it onto the pie because there are few things better than a freshly fried tater tot. i would definitely advise making a double batch of them so that you can have some to snack on while the pie bakes.

ireland, here i come!

tater tot shepherd's pie

from imen mcdonnell's the farmette cookbook

serves 4


1 tb sunflower or canola oil, plus more for frying

1 large onion, chopped

2 to 3 medium carrots, chopped

1 lb ground lamb

2 tb tomato purée

Splash of Worcestershire sauce

2 c lamb or beef stock

For the tots:

4 large russet potatoes, baked and cooled

2 tb all-purpose flour

2 tsp fine salt


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then cook the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes, until softened. Turn up the heat, crumble in the lamb, and brown, pouring off any excess fat. Add the tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce; fry for a few more minutes until browned. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for another 20 minutes to reduce the liquid.

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and shred them on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer to a large bowl, sprinkle in the flour and salt, and gently mix until combined.

Scoop 1½ tablespoons of the potato mixture into a short cylinder, about 1½ inches long and ¾ inch wide. Press the mixture in tightly and then press the tots onto a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.

Line a second baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. Pour ¼ inch of oil into a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Fry the tots in batches of 8 to 10 pieces (do not overcrowd the pan), turning once, until light golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tots to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and season with salt. Repeat for all the tots.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Put the meat mixture into an ovenproof dish. Top with the tots to completely cover the meat. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tots are starting to turn golden brown and the mince is bubbling through at the edges. Serve with a salad of crisp garden greens.