SO. Father Adam.
Is it an apple dish? A type of cake? “Father Adam” is actually an early twist on what most of us probably think of as Shepherd’s Pie. It was considered a family-pleasing use for leftover roast, and it’s another one of those great 1800’s comfort food dinners.
I can imagine nineteenth century children rejoicing at hearing it was “Father Adam” for dinner tonight. That’s how my kids feel about Shepherd’s Pie.
In fact, the night I made this, I told them we were having something like Shepherd’s Pie for dinner. You probably know how this went down.
When they discovered it was a vintage interloper with no green peas, the little knuckleheads begged for granola instead. (Just keeping things real over here). So it looks I’ll be eating Father Adam leftovers for lunch today, tomorrow…maybe the next day. And you know? I am totally ok with that.
Here’s a photo of the recipe as it appears in the cookbook:
I don’t have many cooking notes today, because this is a pretty straightforward recipe.
You do want to heed that advice to keep the heat gentle as the meat stews, because with the flour in there, it can be easy to burn on. But don’t be tempted to wait and put the flour in at the end, because that long stew time with the thickening is what gives it all a chance to develop that deep caramel color and depth of flavor. This is a lazy little recipe that doesn’t want to be rushed, and just works.
For the final browning in the oven, I found that about 20 minutes at 350°F did the trick.
Personally, I found “Father Adam” to be a much more interesting and satisfying dish than the modern version of Shepherd’s Pie, made with ground beef. Next time you’ve got roast leftovers, I heartily recommend this as a worthy way to use them.
For the meat filling
- 1.5lb cooked beef
- 1 small sliced onion
- 2 T butter
- Leftover gravy, if available
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T flour
- 4 large potatoes
- ½ cup milk
- 2 T butter, or to taste
- When you have a cold roast of beef cut off as much as will half fill a baking-dish suited to the size of your family;
- put this sliced beef into a stewpan with any gravy that you may have also saved, a lump of butter, a bit of sliced onion, and a seasoning of pepper and salt, with
enough water to make plenty of gravy;
- thicken it, too, by dredging in a
tablespoonful of flour;
- cover it up on the fire, where it may stew
gently, but not be in danger of burning.
- Meanwhile there must be boiled a
sufficient quantity of potatoes to fill up your baking-dish after the stewed meat has been transferred to it. The potatoes must be boiled done, mashed smooth, and beaten up with milk and butter, as if they were to be served alone, and placed in a thick layer on top of the meat.
- Place the dish in an oven, and let it remain there long enough to be brown. There should be a goodly quantity of gravy left with the beef, that the dish be not dry and tasteless.
- Serve with it tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or any other kind that you prefer.
Whence the name came nobody knows, but the dish that bears it is one that is a favorite for common use with every family where it is known.
A good, plain dish.
To finish, bake 20 minutes at 350F.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 573Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 36g