Alvie House, Mrs. Williamson
One place to celebrate Burns Night Dinner is Alvie House, in the town of Kincraig, by Kingussie, in Inverness-shire. It is an Edwardian shooting lodge set above a small loch in the Scottish Highlands. A 13,000-acre estate surrounds the main house and offers all the sports that are dear to a Scotsman's heart: fishing for the wily salmon on the river Spey; pursuing the wild deer in the Kincraign woods; hunting for the nimble grouse on the Highland moor; and, of course, stalking the wee dram wherever you can find it. Alvie House has been home to five generations of the Williamson family. During the 1980s, a portion of the estate was turned into a magnificent guesthouse under the direction of Jamie and Lyn Williamson.
- For the Beef and Potatoes:
- 1 pound boiling potatoes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pound ground beef sirloin or top round
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese ( about 4 ounces), divided
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
TO MAKE THE BEEF AND POTATOES:
Peel and slice the potatoes into 3/8-inch-thick pieces. Put the slices into a pan with cold water to cover, add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, bring the water to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and set the potatoes aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and sauté the onion until lightly golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook for 1 minute. Add the ground beef and break it up with the spoon. Sauté the beef for 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the skillet with the wooden spoon. When the flour and beef are brown, pour in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, the remaining salt and the pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Set aside while you make the sauce.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
Whisk the butter, flour and milk together in a non-reactive saucepan. Heat to a boil, whisking constantly and vigorously, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove the sauce from the heat, and whisk in a 2/3 cup of the cheese and the egg yolk. Season with the salt and nutmeg.
TO ASSEMBLE THE PIE:
Spread the meat mixture in to a 9 x 9-inch casserole, then cover the meat with the sauce. Top the sauce with the potatoes, overlapping the slices to make a scalloped pattern. Cover with the remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly brown. (For an extra-brown top, run the pie under a hot broiler.) Let the pie set at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Doubleday. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
385 calories; 21g total fat; 87mg cholesterol; 978mg sodium; 23g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 26g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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