Indo Dutch Casserole (pastei toetoep)

Inspired by the British shepherd’s pie, this comfort dish is a nod to Keasberry’s British roots. The British were also in Southeast Asia, he explains. His own family is traced to John Palmer Keasberry Sr., born in 1773 in Bath, a lieutenant colonel who ended up in the Dutch East Indies following the time when British statesman Sir Thomas S. Raffles, was named lieutenant governor of Java.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into small dice
  • 8 ounces frozen peas
  • 3 ounces frozen corn kernels
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 ounce dried glass noodles, soaked until softened and squeeze dry
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • salt and ground pepper, to taste

Boil the potatoes until fork-tender; drain and mash until smooth. Add in the nutmeg, salt, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and 1 of the egg yolks; stir quickly to prevent the residual heat from hardening the yolk. Cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position a rack in the middle of the oven.

In a medium mixing bowl, use your hand to mix the beaten egg into the ground beef. Put 1 tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the ground beef mixture and the onion; cook, breaking up the beef along the way into small crumbles, until the onion is softened. Add the milk, carrots, peas, corn, celery, and chicken bouillon and and brown the ground beef with the onion. Add the milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, carrots, peas, corn, celery, and chicken bouillon granules; cook until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in  the glass noodles.

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch ovenproof dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Spread the ground beef mixture onto the bottom the dish and level it off with a rubber spatula. Arrange the boiled egg quarters on top of the ground beef mixture and spread the mashed potatoes over the meat, pressing it into the sides so that the filling is well covered. Use the tines of a fork to press down lightly on the top of the mashed potato layer to even it out and create a rustic design.

Whisk the remaining egg yolk with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and spread the mixture all over the top of the pie. Bake the casserole until heated through and the top is well browned, about 30 to 45 minutes. 

Adapted with permission from Indo Dutch Kitchen Secrets: Stories & Favorite Family Recipes from Stroopwafel to Rijsttafel by Jeff Keasberry, copyright © 2017. Published by Mascot Books.

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