Mashed Potatoes with Corned Beef
325 grams canned corned beef (use lean corned beef),
1.3 kg potatoes, suitable for mashing,
2 medium onions,
1-2 cups milk,
2 cloves garlic,
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger,
400 grams finely chopped canned tomatoes,
Optional (sliced red chillies according to taste),
150 grams butter,
breadcrumbs for topping,
125 grams freshly grated cheddar,
125 grams freshly grated parmesan cheese,
1/2 cup extra light olive oil,
1 cup water,
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, and
Salt and pepper to taste.
Peel the potatoes and immerse in a container of cold water (add a little lemon juice to acidulate) to stop the potatoes from turning brown. Cut into quarters. Put the potato pieces in a covered microwave proof oven dish. Add 1 cup of water to the potatoes. Cover and cook on high in 10 to 5 minutes intervals until cooked and soft enough for mashing. Check for tenderness at intervals to ensure that the potatoes are cooked.
Remove potatoes from oven dish and mash immediately to a uniform and smooth consistency. If not cooked enough, cook some more in steps of 5 minutes in microwave until cooked. Using a potato masher, add 1 cup milk and mash the potatoes to a smooth creamy consistency. Add the 150 grams butter, half of the the finely chopped onions and half of the finely crushed garlic. Mix well into the mashed potatoes. Add the freshly grated cheddar cheese. Mix well together and blend into the mashed potatoes and other ingredients. Add half of the finely chopped parsley and mix well into the mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well together.
Over a medium to high heat, place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan large enough to contain the ingredients, and allow to simmer. Add the remaining finely chopped onions, finely crushed garlic and ginger. Stir in and allow the ingredients to cook until the onions become transparent but not burning. Add the finely crushed canned tomatoes, finely chopped parsley and mix well together. Optional: you may incorporate some finely chopped red chillies to your taste. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Allow to cook until the tomato sauce is well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and check at intervals to make sure that the tomato sauce does not burn and that the sauce remains semi liquid. Add a little hot water to maintain the semi liquid sauce consistence or if watery, uncover pan and allow excess water to evaporate.
Set oven to 150 degrees C.
When the tomato sauce is well blended, cut the corned beef into small cubes and add to the tomato sauce. Mix well and allow to simmer. Gently incorporate the corned beef pieces into the tomato sauce. Cover and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook as you will melt the corned beef. Remove from stove and set aside.
In an oven tray, large and deep enough to contain 2 layers of corned beef in tomato sauce and 3 layers of mashed potatoes, spread evenly one third of the mashed potato at the bottom of the tray. Spread half of the corned beef in tomato mixture onto the mashed potato layer. Spread gently so as not to disturb the mashed potato layer underneath. Add half of the remaining mashed potato as the next layer. Repeat with the remaining corned beef in tomato sauce mixture. Complete with the remaining mashed potato mixture and spread evenly without disturbing the lower layers.
Sprinkle a thin layer of breadcrumbs on top of the mashed potato layer. Spread a thin layer of freshly grated parmesan cheese to form a light golden crust on top after baking in the oven. Drizzle with half cup of extra light olive oil.
Place tray on lower shelf of oven. Allow to bake for 20-30 minutes or until the layers start to bubble and the parmesan/breadcrumb layer turns into a light golden brown topping. If necessary, place under grill to finish off the light golden layer to your preference. Do not overgrill. However, monitor closely and be very careful not to burn the topping.
Remove from oven and allow to cool down on a suitable surface for 15-20 minutes. This will allow the layers to bond together and make it easier to serve without the layers falling apart or squashing down.
Using a flat spatula, loosen the sides and cut into the layers vertically to obtain suitable serve portions.
Enjoy with fresh crusty sour dough bread and a fresh lettuce salad.