Tuesday, April 7, 2009

(belated) shepherd's pie

fine irish ingredients

i know, i know. clearly i am behind. st. patrick's day was week ago and here i am posting about shepherd's pie. oh well, you can use it next year. or you could use it tonight, if it just so happens to be snowing, like it is here. this is comfort food to the max and there is no rule about eating it on march 17th. in fact, i didn't even make this on st. patrick's day.

i decided on shepherd's pie as our pre-green day meal during a visit with my sister. she was in town and we had already hit up a parade (green wigs, sparkly bowler hats, green pants), so an irish feast was in order. we had this in advance celebration and two days later, husband and i enjoyed corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. it's tradition!
(i had a math teacher in 7th and 8th grade who when i acted shocked that he was not eating this meal on st. patrick's was very offended and said that he was not irish and would not be partaking in such a meal...as if i was suggesting something horribly rude by expecting that others might want to try out a "cultural" dish that i just so happened to love. this must be part of the reason i hate math!)

potatoes on top of stewed goodness?

i altered this recipe to my liking and am including the adapted recipe.

guinness shepherd's pie filling
1 1/2 lbs "stew" beef
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, sliced (or 2 really large)
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle guinness draught stout (just shy of the whole thing, i guess)
7 ounces (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) beef broth (i had to sub in chicken and it was fine)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried sage
1 c frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste

potato topping
6-8 medium yukon gold or baby red potatoes
2 tsp chives (fresh chopped or dried)
1 tsp parsley, minced
3 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp milk

1. in a large pot, bring potatoes and water to a simmer until fork tender
2. drain and put back in warm pot to remove excess moisture
3. brown beef in a large sauce pot, cooking for about 5 minutes
4. add oil, onion, garlic, carrot, and celery and cook for 5 minutes
5. add guinness, beef broth, worcestershire and seasonings, simmer on low for 15 minutes
6. while above is cooking, melt butter in a small saucepan
7. add flour, stirring constantly until combined to create a roux
8. add roux to filling and allow to thicken (test here to adjust seasonings and add s&p)
9. add peas and allow to simmer for 10 more minutes
10. in a large bowl, combine potato topping ingredients and mix with a hand mixer until combined (but still chunky)
11. pour filling into a 9x13 pan and add dollops of potato topping, smoothing out to cover fully
12. bake at 350f for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown

toasted meat "pie"

this was so piping hot and delicious. we all had hearty first portions and loved it so much we went back for seconds. it made enough for 3 double servings that night and another single one for lunch for me the next day. i don't like or drink any beer (unless you count raspberry frambois on rare occasions) but this was tasty! and really, how could it not be? its beef stew with beer topped with crisped mashed potatoes - an irish girl's dream come true!


Thomas said...

I love the Irish "family" picture at the top of the post :) I sadly can't really appreciate the recipe, but I used to love me some shepherd's pie back in the day.

Anonymous said...

actually it's called cottage pie if you're using beef. lamb would be shepherd's pie.

alauna said...

i don't know if i trust wikipedia, but good to know either way :)