Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Irish Shepherd's Pie

OK, so this is probably closer to American Shepherd's Pie, since I used ground beef rather than ground lamb, but oh well.  Shepherd's Pie is a dish I fell in love with when I lived in London and traveled extensively throughout the British Isles.  It's a comfort food, yet it's served in nearly every pub in Britain. It's hearty and perfect for a winter weeknight meal, and healthy too!  Really, it's the Irish version of meatloaf!  This is also our traditional St Patrick's Day meal since I absolutely cannot stand corned beef and cabbage...

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
4 tablespoons flour
1 pint beef stock
dried parsley and thyme, about 1/2 tablespoon each
2 pounds mashed potatoes (I cheat and use two containers of ready-to-microwave Country Crock Garlic or Loaded Mashed potatoes, thawed)
Irish white cheddar cheese, shredded
You can also add in 1 cup frozen peas, if you'd like

Preheat the oven to 350.

Brown the ground beef.  Drain.  Add butter and vegetables, and saute until golden and tender.  Stir in the flour, then stock and herbs.  Bring to a boil and reduce until the mixture resembles a very thick gravy, about five minutes.

Place in a casserole and cover with mashed potatoes.  If using the ready-to-microwave potatoes that have been frozen, drain the water produced during thawing.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle Irish cheese over top of the dish and bake an additional 10 minutes or until top is golden and bubbling.

Serve hot, with country-style green beans and a crisp salad.

Serves 4.

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