daily meal

Friday, March 9, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

Ahh Spring is in the air and St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday this year! Could life get any better!? In order to begin celebrating the wonderful St. Patrick and all things Ireland, I decided to make a more traditional Shepherd's Pie.  Although Shepherd's Pie may have technically been an English dish, the way the Irish make it in Ireland is just so darn delicious! It may be messy and look like a pile mush, but it is one tasty pile of push! :)

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, I also decided to add Guinness to the dish, as well as make a Guinness gravy! Let's just say we hoovered this meal down! Oh, and don't let the ingredient list scare you. It may seem like a lot, but it really is so easy to make, and so worth it too!

Shepherd's Pie

For the Meat Mixture:
-1 to 2 tablespoons butter
-1.5 pounds ground beef or lamb
-1 large onion, diced
-1 cup of carrots, diced
-4 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 tablespoon tomato paste
-1/4 cup flour
-1 cup Guinness (optional - if you do not use then you may need to add more beef broth)
-1 cup beef broth
-1/2 cup red wine
-1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
-1 cup frozen peas
-Salt and pepper to taste (can season with oregano, parsley, etc if desired)

For the Potatoes:
-About 4 large potatoes
-1/2 cup heavy cream (may need to add more or add some milk)
-4 tablespoons butter
-Salt, pepper, and parsley to taste
-Freshly shredded white cheddar cheese

Gravy (adapted from Irish American Mom)
-1 1/2 cups water
-2 packets brown gravy mix
-About 1/4 to 1/3 cup Guinness
-1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
-1 teaspoon tomato paste
-1 teaspoon brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot, boil the potatoes until fork tender (about 15-20 minutes).  Strain the water and mash immediately while still hot.  Stir in the cream and butter and season to taste.  If the potatoes are not "whipped" and smooth enough, then add a little more cream or milk until it is the consistency you prefer.

In a separate, large, pan, melt the butter and saute the onions, carrots, and garlic.  Add the meat and season with salt and pepper and any other spices you prefer.  Once the meat begins to cook a bit more, stir in the tomato paste.  Then, stir in the flour. Add the wine, and allow to reduce a little before adding in the Guinness and the broth. Simmer for about a half hour.

Then, stir in the worcestershire sauce and peas. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes.

In a lightly greased 9x13 pan or casserole dish, spread the meat mixture evenly over the bottom of the dish.  Then, take the mashed potatoes and spread them evenly on top of the meat mixture.  Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and crisp, and the top begins to golden. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or longer. It's sometimes best to make this the day before so all of the flavors meld together more, like a lasagna!

While the Shepherd's Pie is baking, prepare the gravy.  In a small saucepan, whisk all gravy ingredients together.  Once the mixture begins to boil and bubble, remove from heat.

Pour the gravy over your portion of pie, and dig in!


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  1. It looks great I have been on an Irish food kick of late. The addition of Guinness is so good. I have not tried it in Shepherds pie but have made gravy and it really gives a wonderful depth to a sauce.

  2. Looks delicious. We eat shepherd's pie a lot but I've never tried making it with Guinness or with a separate gravy. Sounds good, though.

  3. What a wonderful Irish meal. I love shepherds pie. Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. This is tummy hugging food. I absolutely love Shepherd's Pie but I never order it when I eat out because I think it has to be made with love, like this one!

  5. Woah, this looks amazing! I need some of this, now! That last photo of the gravy being poured over on top--HOLY GRAVY!! It's making my mouth water, I shouldn't be looking at this in the morning, without eating breakfast first :) Great dish, hope you have an awesome weekend!

  6. Oh my this look utterly delicious :) I'd hoover a plate up myself, easily! Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

  7. Those mashed potatoes are perfection! I'm dying for a bite.

  8. Perfect potatoes! I love me some Shepherd's Pie, perhaps I'll whip some up myself this year! BUZZED!

  9. I don't think that looks like mush at all, particularly not with that gorgeous pile of mashed potato on it. Looks great!

  10. Love the last shot! Looks so good! :)

  11. Sounds perfect for the lovely holiday!!

  12. I Love shepherd's pie. It was one of the first casserole type things I cooked and my husband still asks for it. The gravy with this one sounds heavenly and I think it looks just like shepherd pie should look. I often think the food like this that I try to photograph looks mushy, but its just that it is not a pretty sliver of cake it is a wonderful dish with sauce and such. It is beautifu:-)