My last time out I told you the tale of how Yackity came to live on a farm in Canada. It was a fine life, and Yackity learned how to grow many kinds of foods and make lots of delicious and healthy meals. But there was one dish that her mother had made for her which was always a favorite.
We can imagine inhabitants of Shangri-La baking Yackity’s one-dish dinner for their pampered guests. Its healthful ingredients likely held the key to their long lives!
Yackity shared her recipe with me and I pass it on to you today. If you have trouble finding the ingredients in your area, feel free to make substitutions. This recipe is made to be tampered with.
It would be a shame if you had to toss the yak out of Yackity’s pie. But I realize not everybody is as fortunate as we are to have a yak farm near by. You can always substitute some other lean red meat… emu, beefalo, even pork (surprisingly lean these days). Try to stay away from beef if you can.
Check out this chart, and make up your own minds. See how the calories, cholesterol and fat are all so much lower for yak compared with beef?
Yak nutrition analysis provided by Midwest Laboratories, Inc., a USDA-Accredited Lab.
Without any more fuss, here’s how to bake this pie.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes (I used a large purple-skinned sweet potato, which is white inside – yummy! Tibetans grow lots of potatoes, so use whatever kind you like.)
- 2 tablespoons real butter (Yaks are a source of milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter for Tibetans)
- 1/4 cup milk (I always use skim)
- 1/4 cup raw barley (very Tibetan)
- 1 onion, diced (I used a leek – kids like the mild flavor)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 pound ground yak
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (not very Tibetan, but it’s all I had…)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled goats cheese (yak cheese isn’t commonly available…)
1) Scrub the potato and slice it into one-inch pieces. Boil until soft, then rinse in cold water. Take the skins off and mash with butter and a little milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
2) Add the raw barley to 1 cup boiling water in a small pan on the stove. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or till tender. Add a 1/4 teaspoon salt the last 5 minutes.
3) Peel and chop the carrot and garlic.
4) Spray an oven-proof deep pie dish with oil.
1) Heat the olive oil in a fry pan. Add the carrot and cook until soft. Add onion and garlic, and stir until onion gets limp. Remove to a plate.
2) Add more oil to the pan, then add the yak and cook on medium heat until brown.
3) Add cooked barley and flour. Put the cooked veggies back in the pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes, or until thickened.
1) Put the meat filling into the deep dish, then top with the mashed potatoes.
2) Crumble the cheese over the potato crust. At this point you can refrigerate to serve later.
3) To reheat, put the pie into a 350F oven. When the topping is brown and bubbly, the pie should be hot enough to serve – about 35 minutes.
If you can find yak meat where you live, what are you waiting for? Buy some. It’s good for you and so delicious. Even a kid would like this pie. The sweet potato and barley lend a delicate flavor to a dish already raised out of the ordinary with the unusual meat.
Yackity is ready now to say goodbye. But before she leaves you, she would like to tell you one other fascinating factoid: Chewbacca and the Wolf Man both wore costumes made of yak hair. How cool is that?
Yackity’s Yaks – Read part I of this amazing tale and learn more about the biology of these wonderful animals.