Korsakov Meat and Potato Pie

An economical and filling dish of Russian origin, Korsakov Meat and Potato Pie makes an excellent lunch or supper. Serve with sour cream and baby carrots.

2 lb. potatoes, cooked and drained

2 oz. butter

2 fl. oz. milk

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

1 lb. minced beef

5 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, 1 ounce of the butter, the milk, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoon of pepper. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the mixture to a smooth puree. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

With a wooden spoon, stir in 1 ounce of flour and 1 egg, beating briskly until the mixture is smooth and slightly stiff.

Set aside.

In a large frying-pan, melt the remaining butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 3 minutes.

Stir in the meat, the remaining salt and pepper and the caraway seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the meat is well browned.

Stir in the remaining flour. Reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Place about half the potato mixture on the bottom of a medium-sized baking dish and cover with the meat mixture. Top with the remaining potato mixture. With a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle over the cheese and place the dish in the oven. Bake the pie for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Remove the pie from the oven and serve at once.