In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m excited to share a truly Irish recipe with you today! Not only is this dish a festive one, but it’s a really easy and tasty dinner that’s sure to please all those “meat and potato” lovers out there. I’d recommend serving a big green salad on the side in addition to the veggies that are already included in the recipe. This one was a HUGE hit with my kids (and my husband, too). Enjoy!
Irish Shepherd's Pie
For the potatoes:
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes such as Yukon Gold or Russet
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 1/2 onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 carrot peeled
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground lamb (or ground beef which according to Joy of Cooking, makes this "Cottage Pie")
- 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup beef broth or vegetable broth
- 1 spring rosemary
- 2 springs thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste (just a little)
Set a pot of water over high heat and cut the potatoes into 1 to 2" sized pieces (keep the peel on). Boil until tender when pierced with a fork, about 16 to 18 minutes. Once done, drain the potatoes and blend (with an electric mixer or potato masher) along with the butter, milk and salt. Set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and start chopping the veggies. Dice the onion, celery and carrot and mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat and add the veggies and garlic to the pan. Cook until softened but not brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the ground meat to the pan, breaking it up with a spatula, and cook until the meat is brown all the way through (about 5 minutes). Drain off the excess fat and discard. I find that making a tiny crack with the lid of the pan is the easiest way to pour off fat.
Keeping the heat on medium, sprinkle the meat and veggie mixture with the flour. Once it's absorbed add the broth, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook while stirring occasionally for a few more minutes until the broth thickens.
Pour the meat mixture into the bottom of an 8" or 9" square, round or oval casserole dish. Carefully add the mashed potatoes on top. I find it easiest to add dollops all around the pan before attempting to spread it out. Then the key is to make "peaks" in the potatoes with a rubber spatula so it will brown nicely in the oven (I did this by making indentions with the spatula so the peaks would naturally form around it). Bake until the peaks are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.