A few weeks ago, Charlie and I were talking about comfort foods, around the same time that we were talking about Knee Surgery Pie, I believe. I said that both mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese were on my list of comfort foods, and somehow, I-Need-a-Hug Pie was created. It’s like a shepherd’s pie in the sense that it’s topped with mashed potatoes… And it’s like a baked macaroni and cheese in that it’s GOT MAC&CHEESE underneath that!!!
The bottom layer is pie crust, then macaroni and cheese, then mashed potatoes, then a layer of shredded cheddar.
The quantities we used here made three small pies… and by small, I mean small. (They were about two extremely generous or three normal servings of this pie.) We cooked one tonight and put the other two in the freezer.
We used the pie dough we’d prepped the other night. It’s Emeril’s recipe, found here, but we didn’t have shortening and instead used salted butter, so we took out the salt and subbed butter for crisco. Here’s what we did:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup butter
6 tablespoons ice cold water
Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles course ground cornmeal. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time.
I made these next, since I figured they’d hold up better in the fridge while I waited on the m&c. That sort of has to congeal a bit.
The potatoes I don’t have a real recipe for, they’re just the way my mom has always made them. Start by peeling about a pound of potatoes, maybe a bit more. I usually use yukon gold since they’re creamy. Chop the potatoes into at least quarters because then they’ll cook faster and more evenly. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Throw in a bit of salt. Boil the potatoes until soft, probably between 10-20 minutes. Drain the water off. Throw 2-3 tablespoons of butter over the still warm potatoes, and about 2-3 tablespoons of milk. Mash & stir. If they’re not creamy enough, add a little more milk. Salt to taste.
Mac & Cheese:
This recipe is courtesy of Eileen, my exboyfriend Chris’ late mother. She made awwwwesome m&c, though I adapted it a little bit. Here’s what I did:
1/2 box elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
16oz block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.
Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, black pepper, about 3/4 of the shredded cheese, and cooked pasta.
After round one with this pie, I would probably pre-bake the pie crust for about 15 minutes so that the bottom firmed up a bit more. Then, layer the mac&cheese at the bottom. Carefully spread the potatoes on top. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar (not only is it delicious but it keeps the moisture in the potatoes).
I baked it in a pre-heated 375 degree oven (the mac&cheese said 400, the pie said 375) for roughly 30 minutes, but it probably could have stood to be in there a little longer, though that would probably be rectified by the pre-baking of the crust. As I do with lasagna, I covered the pie with foil for the first portion of the cooking so as to not scorch the cheese, then took it off at the end to allow it to get a little bit crispy/bubbly.
A variation that Anne suggested is to add a can of corn to the mix (I would swirl it with the mashed) and to add gravy, which I would put on top instead of (or underneath) the cheese topping. Charlie keeps insisting that a bacon lattice would be great, but I’m sure you can guess how I’d feel about that.
Yes, I know it’s obscene, but I bet you’re a little tempted to try it.
You can use your own favorite mac & cheese and mashed potato recipes, but this is the one I used.