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Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day!!  No, I did not forget about the special day….I am 1/2 Irish for goodness sake’s peoples.  I wish I could say I was out partying and drinking a butt bootie load of green beer last night…..but life these days is a little less exciting than that.  Husband and I have just been busy this weekend with nursery/baby readiness chores.  We didn’t actually eat dinner until 8pm at night, and after that I was too plum pooped to type.

St. Patty’s day used to be the prized day of my Nana Mackie.  Nana was the cutest little Irish woman EVER.  She was a petite thing, with a massive amount of energy, bright orange hair and a spunky fire in her Irish eyes (and she just loved her boxed Franzia chardonnay).  Nana treated St. Patty’s day just as special as the other big holidays.  I got a St. Patrick’s Day card every single year without fail.  So, if I didn’t celebrate it I’d feel like I was doing Nana a huge injustice, and she’d probably look down on me from heaven with shame.  My mom would make corn beef and cabbage every St. Patrick’s Day without fail.  A few years ago I decided to start my own tradition and start making Shepherd’s Pie.  Could there really be a more complete and comforting dish?  You have your meat, potatoes, veggies, booze and cheese.  Bam – all the main food groups covered;-)  I haven’t ever committed to a recipe, I’ve done mine a few different ways.  Last night I would say it came out better than I’ve ever made.  I used Kel”s Traditional Shepherd’s Pie as a basis for mine from Kel’s Cafe of All Things blog. I made some tweaks to the recipe below.  You know what is equally as amazing too this knocked up woman?  That I now don’t have to cook for about 3 days.  Not that I don’t thoroughly enjoy cooking peeps, but this carrying a baby gig tends to tire one out by the end of the day!  Don’t judge about me using prepared mashed potatoes….again….mama is tired and needs a break.

  • 2 prepared packages of mashed potatoes (next to the hash browns at the grocery store)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced (2-3 stalks)
  • 2 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Kosher salt to taste (I use at least 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dijon
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 cups of grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

In a large skillet, brown the lamb.  Once done, set aside and let drain in a colander.  Sauté carrots in the olive oil until they start to get tender. Add the celery and onion and cook for a few minutes.  Add the ground lamb to the vegetables, season with the salt, pepper, fresh thyme, sage, marjoram and sauté.  Add the butter and peas. Sprinkle with flour and stir until well blended.

Pour in the Guinness, add the tomato paste, sugar, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce and stock.  Cook until thick.

Grease a 9”x13”casserole dish and add the lamb and veggie mixture.

Evenly spoon the mashed potatoes on top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese and bake until it melts and starts browning (about 5 minutes.)

Let the Shepherd’s pie sit for 5 minutes before serving.


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