The title is an interesting proposition, let me explain. This is just about the most interesting thing I have ever posted. I could of course, wax lyrical, at great length about the history of the Cottage Pie but I won't. Suffice to say the Cottage Pie is very British fare so some explanation may be required.
Cottage Pie, simply put, is beef mince, mixed with some veg and topped with mashed potato. Finish with some leeks and cheese if you are feeling adventurous and then pop in the oven for about three months at gas mark something or other. If you hadn't already gathered this is not a cooking blog. Cottage Pie has a cousin called Shepherd's Pie. It is basically the same as Cottage Pie except you use lamb instead of beef. The naming of Shepherd's Pie makes perfect sense. After all, sheep are looked after by shepherds. Cows, it would appear, are looked after by cottages. This can't be right.
It transpires, as a result of a short search on Wikipedia, rather boringly, that cows weren't looked after by cottages. It would appear that Cottage Pie came first, because it was cheap and ideal for people
cottaging, sorry, I meant people living in cottages.
I am somewhat scandalised by the fact that there is only one Wikipedia entry for Cottage Pie and none for Shepherd's Pie. This is an omission bigger than a very large omission. I really should move on to the point of all this.
Before I do though, some words regarding ramekins. A ramekin is a small, individual portion sized pot. It also has some interesting thermodynamic properties, which I will explain.
|The humble ramekin, in it's restive state.|
There is a convention around the serving temperature of food. It can be stated in simple terms. If it does not cause third-degree burns to the interior of the mouth then it is edible. This sounds quite simple. Cottage Pie in ramekins does not believe in simple. The Cottage Pie in ramekins is a DLW idea. "We can make a bunch of it and then freeze it into individual portions". On the face of it, this sounds bonny. When the individually wrapped portions are placed in the freezer the idea continues to sound bonny. This is all just a little too bonny.
Time to spoil this all too bonny scene. Today I shall be dining on Cottage Pie, (suitably defrosted, two months at room temperature) with some veg and gravy. It shall be an individual sized portion in a ramekin. After de-frosting it shall be heated at gas mark something for 2.3 days and then it shall be ready. It is served on a plate with some veg, with some gravy is in a separate receptacle.
There seems to be a nefarious heat emanating from the ramekin/Cottage Pie. Should white ceramic pottery glow red? Why is the veg, artistically arranged in the near vicinity of the ramekin, behaving as if it has been exposed to some extreme heat? Why does my pot of gravy look scared?
Being the curious sort I begin, by piercing the outer shell of the pie. My fork, having penetrated the potato/cheese/leek crust of the pie disappears in a puff of smoke into the pie below. Was it melting? I appropriate more cutlery and some gloves. It seems sensible to turn out the contents of the ramekin onto the plate and dispense it. Fire and brimstone erupt, steam hisses from the deep. My plate starts to glow. I become a little worried that the plate may give way, followed by the table, then the floor, closely followed by the ceiling of the floor below. This is starting to feel like the forensic examination in Alien when they realise the bad guy bleeds acid.
In desperation I throw gravy at the assemblage. There is much hissing, but the temperature seems to recede a little, the ramekin is now a darkened, bubbling brown instead of the fiery red. I have never used gravy as a fire extinguisher before but I can attest to it's ability. Eventually, I eat, it's a little scalding but has returned to a temperature that is acceptable to a human.
So, it seems that a ramekin, when filled with Cottage Pie could, perhaps be an alternative form of energy. After all, it seems, on the miniature scale at least to be able to provide the energy of a thousand suns. It is clean energy. It is sustainable and controllable, as long as a suitable sized pot of gravy is near to hand. Enough of this wind farm and solar panel nonsense, let every household in the land tap into the energy grid, let ramekin producers everywhere be prepared for a surge in demand, let every country and every family have sustainable energy from their own oven. I may have solved global warming. Bad news for the cows and the sheep though, unless we can come up with a veggie version.
|Miniature reactors, lamb.|
|Miniature reactors, beef, spot the difference.|
Together, the humble oven and ramekins can change the world, forever.
More soon dear reader