Hello and welcome to A Taste of Uruguay. This blog is not necessarily going to be a food blog, but I thought it would be a good idea to start with one of my favorite Uruguayan dishes: Pastel de Carne.
Pastel de Carne means “Meat Pie.” Friends of mine who have eaten this dish often compare it to Shepherds Pie. To be honest, it is very close but not quite the same. There are a lot of variations of Shepherds Pie, but from what I can tell, Shepherds Pie doesn’t have eggs. Pastel de Carne, like a LOT of Uruguayan dishes, does.
One of the beauties of Pastel de Carne is that it is really easy to make and you don’t necessarily have to make everything at the same time. Want to use leftover mashed potatoes from yesterday’s dinner? That’s fine! I’ve split the recipe into four parts, which you can do in whatever order you’d like.
1 pound of potatoes (I prefer to leave the skin on, but it really doesn’t matter as long as they’re nice and fresh)
1 pound of ground beef/turkey (It taste better with ground beef, but turkey is a healthier alternative)
Sauteed onions/garlic (this time, I used garlic)
Shredded Cheese (Yellow, of any kind)
PART ONE: Ground Beef
1. Mix ground beef/turkey with chopped onions/garlic. Add salt, oregano and pepper to taste.
2. Cook ground beef/turkey in pan (medium-high heat)
3. Place cooked ground beef/turkey in pan
PART TWO: Mashed Potatoes
1. Chop each potato into quarters.
1. Place the potatoes in a pan that is filled with water. Turn heat on high. Cook until you can stick a butter knife through the potatoes. (usually takes 20 minutes after the water is boiling).
2. Drain water using pasta drainer.
3. Mash potatoes using a potato masher.
4. Add butter, salt and milk to taste and stir. (This depends on how creamy you want the mashed potatoes to be).
PART THREE: HARD BOILED EGGS
1. Place eggs in pan with cold water.
2. Place on medium-high. After the water begins to boil, put the timer on for 12 MINUTES.
TIP: If you want to see if they’re cooked all the way, spin the eggs on the table. If it spins easily, it’s cooked. Also, if they are just slightly undercooked, you can put them in the microwave for a couple of seconds.
3. Peel eggs and chop into quarters.
PART FOUR: The Works
1. Mix cooked ground beef/turkey and eggs.
2. Spread mashed potatoes on top.
3. Add lots of cheese on top.
4. Put in broiler until cheese is melted.
As you can see, this recipe is very simple. All it takes is combing mashed potatoes, ground beef with onions/garlic and hard boiled eggs. If you have difficulty making hard boiled eggs, you can even buy some pre-made ones at the grocery store.