From Nonna's Kitchen: Grandma Dorothy’s Potato Pie
For some reason, whenever I make a new Nonna recipe and place it on the dinner table, it’s the first thing to go. When it’s a true Nonna recipe, one helping is never enough. Therefore, on Christmas day, I decided to try a recipe that was contributed to my Heirloom Kitchen by one of my favorite cousins-in-law, Jackie Novello. The recipe comes from Jackie’s beloved grandmother Dorothy, an English immigrant. With her husband Leo, she came to the US at the age of 26 to start a new life.
Leo was fortunate enough to have family already settled in the U.S. after World War II, so they packed up and came here. Dorothy worked hard as a waitress and raised three daughters. She was also an exceptional cook. Jackie lovingly remembers her cooking British classics like Yorkshire pudding and shepherd’s pie. In addition to recipes she brought here from the U.K., she also loved experimenting in the kitchen. She was able to recreate exotic dishes she had sampled on her travels.
One recipe that is still a favorite for Jackie’s family is a true British dish. Potato pie is very popular and Jackie’s mom still makes it today. They enjoy it on holidays and birthdays. I can tell you, when I made it, it was devoured without any leftovers. If by chance, you do have a bit leftover, she recommends eating it in the morning with a fried egg on top. As Jackie explains, it's not a pie at all, just some really cheesy delicious mashed potatoes but, I must say, some of the best mashed potatoes this side of the pond.
Grandma Dorothy’s Potato Pie
3 lbs potatoes, I used gold
3 tbs unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¼ cup whole milk, or half & half
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese, the sharper the better
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
Parmigiano cheese to taste (Jackie’s mom’s addition to the recipe)
Preheat oven to 325.
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place in a large pot with cold water and bring them to a boil until fork tender, about ten minutes. Drain potatoes and mash with butter and milk. I use a ricer, no lumps! As you mash or rice, gradually add the cheese (reserve ¼ cup of cheese). Add salt and pepper.
Once potatoes and cheese are fully combined, transfer to an oven safe dish** andsprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes so that cheese can melt.
**note I placed the mashed potatoes in a piping bag and made rosettes before baking.