Of Gotham, Alfred and Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie


200g lean rib of beef mince
200g lean lamb mince
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
100g button mushrooms, brushed off and finely chopped
1 medium sized carrot (approx. 100g), finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
3 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
100ml (½ glass) red wine
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tin (200g) chopped tomatoes
300ml veal stock (you can buy veal stock from good quality supermarkets. If you can’t find it, you can use beef or chicken stock)
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp plain flour
Sunflower oil for frying
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the topping
1kg King Edwards or Maris Piper (preferably)
50g unsalted butter
Salt & white pepper

Lightly oil both the lamb and beef mince. Heat a frying pan until smoking and cook the meat, mixing continuously, for about 5 minutes until the meat is a light brown colour. Pour off the excess liquid and put in a dish to one side until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
In the same pan, heat a little oil and gently sweat the shallots, thyme, button mushrooms and carrots for about 8 minutes. Add the mince and mix in the tomato purée and cook for about 5 minutes; then add the chopped tomatoes, red wine and reduce for about 10 minutes. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; add more Worcestershire sauce if required and then the oregano. Keep to one side.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 4.
Peel and cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces. Cook in boiling salted water for around 15 minutes until soft; then drain and return to the pan over a gentle heat to remove any excess moisture. Using an old-fashioned masher or a potato ricer, thoroughly mash the potatoes and mix them with butter and season to taste.
To assemble and serve, put the meat mixture into an oven proof dish. Top with the mashed potato (you can pipe this if you have the time), put into the oven and bake for around 30 minutes. It should turn a nice golden colour.
We serve with buttered peas and carrots at The Ivy.



How the Inhumans can Survive a Friday Time Slot

Everyone knows that shows given a Friday Time Slot are destined to fail. Why is this? People don’t stay in Friday night to watch TV. They are out at bars with friends or even dating. So why would ABC stick the new Inhumans series in that dismal slot of doom?

Lets think outside the box here.
Disney owns ABC.
Disney owns Marvel.
Disney benefits from having a Marvel property on ABC.
ABC does not benefit having a Marvel property on Thursday night.
ABC does not benefit from anything they put on Friday night.


Disney asks ABC to host the show.
ABC puts it where it isn’t making money anyway.
Result, the show is on and ABC isn’t losing money.

Now this is where it gets interesting. In 1986 college bars had Miami Vice on all the screens every Friday night. It was huge. Now look at all the Geek Pubs springing up around the country and you start to see where I’m going with this. Geeks gathering to watch Inhumans at Geek Pubs. Inhuman Watch Parties. Agents of SHIELD cosplay watch parties!!!!

Many think this is a death sentence for the Marvel TV properties, but I see great potential here. Better, in my opinion, than the 10 PM Tuesday slot. Friday we can all stay up late and hang out with friends to discuss the show we just watched. Cable cutters need not wait till later to watch as they can simply visit the local Geek Pub to view it live. Personally I think it’s great!