Pre time: 20 min
Cook time: 30-35 min
Last week I started to think about how we could celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without going the traditional dinner route. I am not a huge fan of corned beef or cabbage (unless they are in some recipe with other foods). So I decided on Shepherd’s Pie, also known at Cottage Pie. I’m very happy with how this turned out, so much so that I helped myself to two large portions last night at dinner. And I’m eating it again tonight!
It turns out there is quite a bit of discussion as to whether the “real” shepherd’s pie calls for lamb or beef. I used lamb because it makes more sense given the name of the recipe. Lamb tastes more gamey, so if you are unsure of whether you like that flavor, just stick with ground beef. Served with some Irish soda bread, this recipe is perfect for a weeknight St. Patty’s Day celebration.
2.5 lbs russet potatoes, chopped into 2 inch cubes
1/4 C sour cream
1/4 C milk (I used skim)
2/3 C extra sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
2 T chives, minced
1 T live oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 T parsley
2 T flour
2 T melted butter
1 C chicken broth
2 T worcestershire sauce
1 T tomato paste
8 oz. frozen peas, carrots, and corn
1. Peel and boil cubed potatoes in salty water for approximately twelve minutes, or until tender. Once they are ready, mash the potatoes with the egg, sour cream, and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste, cheese and chives.
2. Heat a large frying pan on medium high with 1 T oil. Add onion and cook until browned and tender. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant.
3. Add lamb to the frying pan. Then add salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and parsley.
4. Cover lamb mixture with 2 T flour. The flour should mop up all of the juices that have developed in the pan. If this doesn’t happen, just add a little more. Cook for 1 minute.
5. Mix in melted butter, chicken broth, worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for a minute or two. A thick, dark brown sauce should emerge. Add remaining veggies and allow to cook for about five minutes (until the veggies are cooked).
6. Time to layer the dish! Start with the meat and veggie mixture.Then add the potato mixture. When I am layering, I like to heap everything in the middle – its easier to spread evenly that way.
7. Smooth out the potato layer. Using a fork, make a cross hatch pattern across the potato. As you can see, I tried to be cute and make a four leaf clover in the middle, but I liked the texture of the cross-hatch part better. Next time I will do a straight cross-hatch across the dish.
8. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes in an oven heated to 375 degrees. Turn the oven to high broil setting for the last five minutes, so as to brown the potatoes. Depending on how hot your broiler is this may take more or less time, so be sure to watch out so that it doesn’t burn!
Happy St. Patty’s Day!
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