Irish Shepherd 

Today is celebrated by those who claim the green and search for a pot of gold. Everyone is Irish on St.Patrick’s Day, drinking Guiness and eating corned beef and cabbage. For me I prefer Shepherd’s pie, a combination of meat, carrots, and peas covered with fluffy mashed potatoes and baked in the oven until pipping hot. Shepherd’s pie is comfort food at its finest and along with bangers and mash also a favorite of mine. So to all who claim the green and drink a pint may the luck of the Irish be in sight!

Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb preferably grass fed lean ground beef (lamb is often used)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 small can tomato sauce

1/2 bottle beer  Guinness is great

1/2 bag of frozen peas and carrots

1/4 cup chicken stock

4-5 Yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 lb)

1/2 c half and half

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Peel and cut potatoes into cubes, place in a pot with 1 tablespoon of salt, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until potatoes are tender.
* For a lighter mash reduce potatoes and add a half bag of frozen cauliflower florets.

In a large heated sauté pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and ground meat. Cook until meat is slightly brown and has released all its water. Add onion and garlic, sweat for about 5 minutes then add beer to deglaze pan. Cook for another 5 minutes add tomato sauce, chicken stock, thyme and vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer about 15 minutes and then remove from heat.

When potatoes are tender drain and then add back to hot pot. Stir potatoes a few times to remove water. Add butter, half and half, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mash. Stir in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour meat mixture into a deep oven safe casserole dish and cover meat mixture with mash potatoes. Poke with a fork to make peaks in potatoes.

Place in a 375 preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Enjoy with a pint of Guinness!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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