Saturday, March 22, 2014

Shepherd's Pie

Since this is still the week of St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to use the opportunity to make a traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie for dinner a few days ago.  I combined a few recipes I found online to make dinner and was happy with the results.  We also invited my mom for dinner that evening and it seems like everyone liked this pie.  I made it with ground beef, mashed potatoes, carrots, onions and peas.

I have been planning on making this type of a pie for a while now.  The first time Ivan and I tried something similar was when we were in London.  I ordered a lamb pie and Ivan ordered a beef pie and they were both very good.  So this is my recipe for the Shepherd's Pie:

  • about 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream or softened cream cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk (reserve egg white for later)
  • 1/2 cup of cream, or for a lighter version substitute vegetable or chicken broth
  • salt and freshly ground black papper (to taste)
  • about 1 tablespoon of olive oil or to taste
  • 1 3/4 pounds of ground beef or ground lamb (I used ground beef this time)
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (I substituted some olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purplose flour
  • 1 cup of chicken or beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce or to taste
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • couple of pinches of dry thyme (optional)
  • some tomato paste to taste (optional)
  • grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions: (Servings: 4)
  • Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F
  • Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and transfer them into a bowl. 
  • Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream (or broth) and add the mixture to the potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth
  • In the meantime, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • Saute carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add onions  and saute for about a minute or two 
  • Add meat and season with salt, black pepper and thyme
  • Cook until browned, then drain fat
  • Add the butter (or olive oil) and peas
  • Sprinkle with flour and stir through
  • Add wine, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste (if using)
  • Let this reduce slightly, then add the stock and allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy
  • Season to your taste
  • Remove from heat
  • Grease an oven-proof dish (I used a pie dish like seen in the photos) with butter (or olive oil) and add the cooked meat
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes over the meat evenly
  • Brush with the left over egg white evenly and sprinkle with paprika and some parmesan cheese (if using)
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top
  • Sprinke with some parsley if you would like and serve with some dark beer or Irish whiskey. ; )
This pie is so tasty and pretty easy to make!  I think that from now on we'll make this once in a while, since this pie can be eaten throughout the year, and not only for St. Patrick's Day!  Cheers! : )

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