A traditional family dinner that is part of every French Canadian table is the famous ‘paté chinois’ which translate to ‘chinese paté’. A 3 layer pie of ground meat followed by the corn and topped by mashed potatoes. This version got a Spanish flair with some extra paprika, garlic, thyme and olive oil. 

Paté Chinois / French Canadian Shepherd’s pie is a typical French Canadian meal… Apparently created by the British railroad workers, in the 19th century, as an imitation of the famous “cottage pie” (beef, lamb and mashed potatoes). The dish was an imminent “hit”, at least, for the “on site” railroad workers which included many French Canadians and many Chinese workers. The French brought it back home and called it: Chinese paté… which as nothing to do with China…

Paté Chinois / French Canadian Shepherd's pie

The “paté chinois” differs from the cottage pie or shepherd pie mainly because of the corn layer in the middle. Which was a cheap and easy ingredient at the time in Canada. In majority, this is the meal every household does once a month. It’s equivalent to pasta pomodoro for an Italian, or a baguette and cheese for a French, a ceviche for a Peruvian. It’s “the” meal every French Canadians family does every other week. The kids love it and usually it’s served with extra mustard or ketchup.

A Spanish touch

Since living in Spain, I couldn’t resist a little Spanish touch, so instead of doing the typical butter in the mashed potatoes, I’ve used a lovely olive oil. Plus, I’ve added garlic, onions, tomato paste and carrots to the meat and last but not the least; fresh thyme. Surprisingly, this meal does already have a layer of paprika (pimenton) on top of it, but a sweet type. To make it extra Spanish I’ve used a smoked paprika called “Pimenton de la Vera”, which is kind of the caviar of spices in Spain. 

So let’s make some French Canadian meal with a touch of sunny Spain!


Paté Chinois / French Canadian Shepherd pie

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 739
A traditional family dinner that is part of every French Canadian table is the famous 'paté chinois' which translate to 'chinese paté'. A 3 layer of ground meat followed by the corn (veggies) and topped by mash potatoes. This version got a Spanish flair to it with some extra smoked paprika, garlic, thyme and olive oil instead of butter.

Ingredients

  • 6 potatoes (medium size)
  • 200 ml warm milk
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 400 g ground meat
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 300 g corn kernels (canned (mix half/half with creamed corn can if possible))
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Cook peeled potatoes, about 20 minutes in a pot of boiling water.
  • Mash them with the warm milk, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Add the meat, onion and carrot with some olive oil to a pan, cook at medium high heat, until meat isn't pink anymore.
  • Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste.
  • Add the meat to the bottom of an oven proof container Pyrex or casserole (about 20cm diametre x 5cm high).
  • Add the corn layer.
  • Add the mashed potato layer with the help of a spatula.
  • Sprinkle with the paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 30-35 minutes at 200°C (375F), until golden on top.
  • Let cool a bit and serve.
Author: thefoodolic
Calories: 739kcal
Course: Plato principal
Cuisine: French Canadian
Keyword: french canadian, meat, pate chinois, shepherd s pie, sweet potato

Nutrition

Calories: 739kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 1925mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3628IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 6mg
Nutrition Facts
Paté Chinois / French Canadian Shepherd pie
Amount per Serving
Calories
739
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
37
g
57
%
Saturated Fat
 
11
g
69
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
20
g
Cholesterol
 
77
mg
26
%
Sodium
 
270
mg
12
%
Potassium
 
1925
mg
55
%
Carbohydrates
 
77
g
26
%
Fiber
 
7
g
29
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Protein
 
28
g
56
%
Vitamin A
 
3628
IU
73
%
Vitamin C
 
26
mg
32
%
Calcium
 
151
mg
15
%
Iron
 
6
mg
33
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy on a cold day, with some nicely spiced Bloody Mary!

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