Stuffed Baked Potatoes

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Unfortunately these are not my baked potatoes. Click to see the source page.

Well, cheesy baked potatoes would be more accurate. I took two large potatoes, washed them and pierced them, and stuck them in the oven at 220 degrees centigrade. I checked them at 30 minutes, at 45 minutes, and one hour and still they weren’t completely done! Maybe they were too big. Almost certainly they were too big.

When they were done (I thought) I hollowed out the potatoes and mashed the innards and added the cheese. Then I put the cheesy mix back into the potatoes and put the potatoes back in the oven for 15 minutes.

As it turned out, while the top part of the potatoes was fully cooked, the bottom parts were OK, but could have done with a bit more cooking. Who would have thought that simple baked potatoes could have been such an issue?

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Baked potatoes with cheese

The lessons I’ve learned is to use smaller potatoes – large ones take a long time. Also, I think I should have turned the potatoes at least once.

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Cheesy potatoes

As usual I looked on the Internet for advice. To summarize the advice there, I could have wrapped the potatoes in foil, or zapped them in the microwave. If I take either of these approaches in the future, I could finish them off in the oven to crisp the skin before removing the innards and stuffing them.

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd’s Pie

I had a large piece of cooked lamb to use up, so I decided to make a shepherd’s pie. I first removed the meat from the bone and minced it in a food processor, and then I added two stock cubes and two cups of water to the meat, plus some spices and seasoning. Then I put the dish in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes.

In retrospect I think that one or one and a half cups of water would have been sufficient, or I could have thickened the mixture a little.

I peeled and boiled some general purpose potatoes for 10 minutes or so.  I also had some Perlas but I decided that they would be too small for the topping so I didn’t use them.

I sliced the par-boiled potatoes and arranged them on the surface of the minced lamb as you can see, and put the disk back in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes.  Then I grated some cheese onto the top and returned the dish to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Unfortunately the potatoes were still on the raw side so I returned the pie to the oven for 15 minutes more. When I do this dish again I will cook the potatoes almost to completion before I add them to the pie.

Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd’s Pie