With St. Patrick’s Day just days away, I start thinking about serving some traditional Irish dishes for dinner. Shepherd’s Pie is one of the world’s greatest comfort meals. I have made this savory meat stew with lamb and ground beef, but prefer the ground beef. Here is a really simple and delicious recipe from chowhound.com.
- 1 3/4 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
- 8 T. unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 lb. ground beef, preferably free-range or organic
- 1/2 c. beef broth
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 c. frozen petite peas
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of cold salted water, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander, return the potatoes to the saucepan, add 4 tablespoons of the butter and the milk, and mash with a potato masher until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt. Cover to keep warm until ready to use.
To make the filling, in a large frying pan, melt 2 T. butter. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until browned. Pour off any fat, then add the broth, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the peas.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a -quart shallow baking dish. Add the beef mixture in an even layer and then top with the mashed potatoes in an even layer. Use a fork to “ruffle” the top. Dot with the remaining butter.
Bake until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.