Recipe: Pâté chinois, with a Bajan Twist

My family background is French Canadian, so growing up, my mom made Pâté chinois (the Quebecois variation of Shepherd’s Pie), quite often. It is such a comforting meal for me: ground beef, corn, and mashed potatoes all layered together and baked. Here in Barbados though, I decided to create a Bajan style Pâté chinois. It uses breadfruit instead of potatoes, and the meat layer is flavoured with ketchup and fresh thyme (staples here in Barbados).

Pâté chinois, with a Bajan twist

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium breadfruit, peeled, cored, and cut in chunks
  • ground beef
  • sweet peppers (any colour you like: red, green, orange, or yellow)
  • onions
  • garlic
  • fresh thyme
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • butter
  • milk
  • 1 can of corn, drained

Directions:

Put your breadfruit into a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Allow to cook for 20 minutes or until tender and easy to mash with a fork.

Breadfruit cooking

Breadfruit cooking

While that is going, get your ground beef in a pan, along with your chopped onions, garlic, and peppers.

The beginning of the ground beef layer

The beginning of the ground beef layer

Once your meat is cooked, and the veggies have softened, add in a couple good dollops of ketchup, a good squirt of mustard and some fresh thyme (I didn’t measure any of these ingredients). I also added my bouillon cube and some water at this point. I wanted the meat layer to be kind of saucy.

Mmm...saucy meaty goodness

Mmm…saucy meaty goodness

By this point, your breadfruit should be cooked. Drain it, add a bit of milk and butter, and mash it like you would potatoes.

Mashed breadfruit

Mashed breadfruit

Now, you assemble stuff. In your baking dish, put the ground beef mixture, making sure the bottom of the dish is covered. Then add your can of corn, and finally spread the breadfruit on top.

The pâté chinois is assembled and ready to go in the oven. And for those of you with sharp eyes, yes, I put some cheese on top. Totally optional.

The pâté chinois is assembled and ready to go in the oven. And for those of you with sharp eyes, yes, I put some cheese on top. Totally optional.

Pop the whole thing in the oven and bake at 350F for about 30-40 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes before you chow down.

Pâté chinois, with a Bajan Twist

Pâté chinois, with a Bajan Twist

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