There are two parts to this story.
Part One: Croquette Fail
We had a bunch of leftovers and leftover ingredients from our father's birthday party, as well as our Spanish New Year's Eve party the week before that.
Mashed potatoes, sweet red peppers, pancetta...
Why, we thought we'd make potato croquettes!
So I cooked off the pancetta and the bell peppers...
...and added them to the mashed potatoes. We also had some feta lying around, so I added some of that as well.
I shaped them into patties and coated them in bread crumbs. They were all sitting on a baking sheet and after a brief stint in the refrigerator, I thought they'd be ready for cooking.
I don't have pictures of the potato cakes or "croquettes", as they didn't set up and cook up as cakes at all!
I tried pan-frying them. I tried baking them in the oven.
The lesson? Don't try to make croquettes from mashed potatoes that are butter-rich. At least, that's what I think may be the problem.
(Does cream- or milk-rich mashed potatoes also result in croquette failure? Because our mashed potatoes had both butter and milk/cream.)
So, our resulting made-over dish was simply Pepper, Pancetta & Feta Mashed Potatoes.
Part Two: More Leftovers Join the Party
Whoa, the blur! Prime rib, chopped.
I didn't want "just" mashed potatoes again... it's barely a re-working of the dish! So, looking into the refrigerator, I pulled out more stuff.
We had leftover prime rib (the image above), which I chopped into small pieces...
gravy thawing under running water
...and some gravy.
The gravy had already been stored in the freezer by CSC, as she was afraid JS was going to throw it away. CSC underwent that trauma once before!
Success at Last
Beef, gravy, mashed potatoes... that's just begging to be made into shepherd's pie. (Or cottage pie, whatever.)
All I needed were onions, carrots and celery. I started cooking them with some oil, and added some flour.
Then the beef, gravy, and some peas went in.
Finally, the croquette-fail mashed potatoes with red pepper, pancetta and feta went on top. The whole lot went into the oven for a bit.
There you go. A story with a happy ending.
Another [eatingclub] vancouver Shepherd's Pie:
Duck Shepherd's Pie, or "Duck Coop Pie"