Shepherd’s Pie is actually one of the traditional Irish dishes that you’ll find at all the pubs and festivals, today. Everyone has their own way of making it – some as a loose sautéed ground beef or lamb and vegetable mixture with a pile of potatoes on top, but I really like it as more of a pie that you can slice and serve.
Of course, as you can see from the photos, I did go a little crazy with the potatoes on this one, but then, how many times do I need to tell you that I’ve rarely met a carb I didn’t like? Also? Please forgive the photography here – I’ve got two lights burned out in my kitchen, and we were too hungry to wait for me to set it up properly. I really have to stop doing that.
2 – 3 lbs. gold or russet potatoes
1 lb lean ground beef
2 Tbs. ketchup
1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/2 cup milk (or soy milk)
2-3 Tbs. butter (or margarine)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables or peas & carrots
Special equipment: 8 or 9 inch pie plate; cooking spray
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel the potatoes and cut them into roughly 2 inch pieces. Place them in the pot and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until fork-tender, and drain.
Spray the pie plate with the cooking spray. Place the ground beef, egg, ketchup, oatmeal, garlic powder, salt and pepper in the pie plate and mix lightly with your hand (you can do this one-handed – I know you can!) until all ingredients are well-combined. Pat the meat down to fill the bottom of the pie plate evenly.
Place the pie plate into the microwave (I know!) and cook on high for 8 minutes, then put it in a preheated, 375º F oven for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake it in a preheated, 375º F oven for about 40 minutes. (See? It takes longer.) Set aside.
Mash the potatoes while they’re still hot and add the milk, butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
Put the frozen vegetables on top of the meat “pie”, making an even layer, then pile on your mashed potatoes. No, you don’t have to get as crazy as I did, but you do want them to cover the meat and vegetables completely, as you might do a meringue on a sweet pie.
Drag a fork lightly over the top to make shallow furrows (it’s a design thing), and place the pie back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Now place it under the broiler element for another 5-10 minutes to brown the top a bit.
Slice and serve.
I think I’ve mentioned before (probably last St. Patrick’s Day) that corned beef and cabbage is not really a traditional Irish meal, so by all means try the Colcannon (a mixture of mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, and leeks), which is.
Have a glass of Guinness on me. Sláinte Mhaith!