Turkey Paté Chinois or Pilgrims' Pie

Sometimes known as Shepherds' Pie or Cottage Pie, aka Paté Chinois, a name I was completely unfamiliar with, albeit quite familiar with the dish itself in its many guises, a veritable staple in the use of left-overs.

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!

According to Andy, the name for this dish, Paté Chinois, "translates from French as Chinese Pie. It’s an odd name for a French Canadian dish that doesn’t have any connection to Chinese food. The history of the name has been traced back to the Chinese cooks who worked at the camps for the railway builders in the late 19th century. Ground beef and potatoes were cheap and a dish could be spread out to feed many people."

My inspiration for this round of Daring Cooks' was turkey and breadfruit.  Using what's on hand being the main idea behind a Cottage Pie.  I was stumped on what to call it though.  Post Thanksgiving Pie?  Paté Pilgrim?  Of course, it would be the Pilgrims to Hawaii.  A later period in time.  Oh well.

Our breadfruit tree was the source of this topping.  If you boil a green ripe fruit, then peel and mash, you have something quite similar to mashed potatoes.  So I figured, when in Hawaii....not that we don't have potatoes, but that would be too much of the expected.  And we strive for originality, right?

Then, of course, the unending supply of Thanksgiving turkey.  My daughter's family did not take home any of the left-overs, having been given a thawed turkey of their own to deal with.  So hoping not to throw away good food was part of my motivation here.

The idea is pretty simple.  Sauté some onion, carrots and whatever other vegetables you would like to join in with the meat (I also used mushrooms), peas would be good, and then throw in some herbs - sage and parsley are lovely, and what I used.  Add in any turkey gravy you have or make some more - a version of white sauce - and your minced or chopped turkey.  I just chopped it.

Now it goes into a deep dish pie pan to be topped with the mashed breadfruit (or potatoes).  I coarsely mashed the hot breadfruit with butter and some milk and salt, then lightly brushed the top with melted butter.  You can also sprinkle with paprika.  And, I should mention here that ripe green breadfruit are like potatoes in taste, very bland, with a nice mild starchy flavor.  Hard to describe.

Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.   I could have toasted it lightly under the broiler after, but we were hungry, or I was lazy or both.  Quite a delicious tropical comfort food, served here with some of my excess Cranberry Tangerine sauce.  Those are not extra large cranberries up in the top left corner, but Kalamata olives.  Just so you know.  I have a feeling that this yummy dish will be showing up on a regular basis, post turkeys.


SeattleDee said...

What a delightfully original version of pate chinois. What DOES breadfruit taste like?

My name is Andy. said...

Great job and thanks for participating in the challenge. I love you Hawaiian twist you did!

Claudia said...

Breadfruit, the ripe green ones are like potatoes in that the taste is bland sort of starchy, I don't know, earthy maybe. Very nice though.

Puff Pie said...

I ever tried. Hawaiian twist make me think of Twitter with its first bit. LOL. Anyway, Just love it.

Joanne said...

what a great way to use up thanksgiving leftovers!

Swathi Iyer said...

I loved Hungergames a lot.You made meal special love that personal touch of yours.