It’s almost March 17th and you know what that means… time to cook traditional Saint Patrick’s day meals! I’m not Irish but give me a holiday that involves cooking food and I am all over it! Last year I made a really delicious Irish soda bread with flax meal and corned beef and cabbage for the first time. I also did a bunch of research on the history of St. Patty’s day traditions and it’s all in that corned beef blog post too! Check it out, you might learn something!
Sheppard’s pie has been on my cooking bucket list for a while now and so I thought this week would be a good time to finally make it. I have to admit; I don’t think I’ve ever eaten Sheppard’s pie before. I have seen other people eat it at restaurants and I’ve seen recipes online and it looks yummy. I am not sure if my pie is exactly correct, traditionally speaking, but it tastes really good and that’s all that really matters.
I took the original recipe idea from Alton Brown and tweaked it around to fit to my taste:
For the potatoes:
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 7-8 small potatoes)
- 1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
- 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- 2 ounces unsalted butter (I usually go without butter, but if you’re so inclined)
For the meat filling:
- Olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- Meat: I used 1 1/2 pounds cubed stew meat but you can also use ground beef, ground turkey, or ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken or veggie broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into large-ish cubes. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring it to a boil then simmer until tender (about 15 minutes). You know they are done when you can easily stick a fork through a piece.
- Drain the potatoes and then return to the pot. Add the milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and a ton of garlic powder.
- Mash and mix the potatoes up until smooth. Use a potato masher OR an immersion blender. (This was the first time I used a blender and the potatoes were sooooo creamy!)
- While the potatoes are cooking, make the filling:
- Saute the onion and carrots in olive oil, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Next add the garlic, meat, salt and pepper and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat. Continue to cook for another minute.
- Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly for 10 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Mix in the peas and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish (I made it into two smaller dishes)
- Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.