As all of my friends will attest St. Patrick’s Day is my holiday. It is the only one that I really celebrate, mostly because of my Grand who was fiercely Irish. Now I have spent most of these holidays in pubs drinking good Irish beer and questionable Irish whiskey with little to no thought to the food I could be eating. In recent years with the help of my friend Toby we have played with some Irish food, bacon and cabbage and Irish stew being the favorites. This year I wanted to do Shepherd’s Pie. This may not be the most authentic Irish thing but My Grand made it and in my mind that makes it more than Irish enough. There are many people that will make this with beef instead of lamb, this is cottage pie, and as good as it is, it is not Shepherd’s Pie. You have to use the lamb. I have added in some of my own touches such as the bacon and the beer but the taste is 100% from my Grand’s kitchen and 100% delicious. I hope that you get a feel for the Irishness of this dish and that you enjoy it. Erin Go Bragh.
Shepherd’s Pie to the Tune of Ode to Whiskey by The Chieftains
1lb ground lamb
6 slices thick cut bacon
2 onions medium dice
2 big carrots or 5 bunch carrots
4-6 mushrooms sliced
4-5 small potatoes cubed
¼ cup butter
1-2 tsp finely chopped winter savoury
1-2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper
Beer, I used a Red Irish Ale about 350 ml
-In a large pot, over medium high heat add your oil, onions, garlic, ground lamb and bacon. Brown your meat. Drain off any fat or grease.
-Add in your carrots and your beer and herbs. Reduce heat and let simmer for around 45 minutes.
-In a large sauce pan add your potatoes and fill with water until they just float. Put it on high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until the spuds are soft. Drain the water and mash until they are semi smooth. Add your butter and a little salt and whisk them until they are light and fluffy.
-Back to your other pot. Add in your mushrooms and your peas and cook for another 5 Minutes or so. While this is happening heat your oven to 350 degrees.
-In a pie plate or a square baking pan spread out your meat and veggies. Spoon your spuds over the top and spread them out evenly over the top.
-Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and Bam said the lady you got Johnny’s version of Shepherd’s Pie.