Wednesday, July 7, 2021

A Taste of Canada ~ Pate Chinois

Cooks for the Chinese railway workers in the 19th century came up with this dish as a variation on Shepherd's Pie because it was an economical way to feed all the workers.

Apparently, Canadians liked it so much, it stuck around and became the national dish of Quebec.

Pâté Chinois (Quebec Style Shepherd's Pie)

In Quebec, the classic Irish Shepherd's Pie takes on a new name: Pâté Chinois.

Yield: 1 (8x8) pan. (Double the recipe to fill a 9x13 baking dish. Cook time remains the same.)

Prep Time 25 mins

Cook Time 30 mins


For the Mashed Potatoes (Alternately, use 4 c of leftover, seasoned mashed potatoes, warmed and beaten until smooth.)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/3 c milk
1 Tbsp salted butter
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

For the Dish

1 Tbsp salted butter
1 onion, diced
1 lb ground beef (90% lean)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
¾ tsp salt
2 c sweet corn,* thawed if frozen


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put peeled and quartered potatoes into a medium soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender. Drain and add the milk, 1 Tbsp butter, ¾ tsp salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Beat using an electric hand mixer to achieve very smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes. (If using leftover mashed potatoes, beat them to create a smooth texture, adding a splash of milk if necessary.) Set the potatoes aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp butter. Add the diced onion and sauté over medium-high heat until the onions are golden, 3-5 minutes. Add the ground beef and brown the beef until it is cooked through. Add the paprika, thyme, and salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

Pour the onion and beef mixture into the bottom of a greased 8x8 baking dish. Evenly distribute the corn over the meat. Finally, dollop the potatoes over the corn, spreading them to create an even top crust.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.


*To make the dish more authentic, use 2 c of creamed corn. 


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