Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

Happy St. Patrick's Day! It might be a little holiday, but I think St. Patrick's Day is a lot of fun. When else can you dress head-to-toe in bright green without getting any strange looks? (Well, you might even get some strange looks on St. Patricks' Day...) Last year I shared a Corned Beef Blarney Sandwich on the blog... this year we're going with another traditional Irish dish with a twist - Guinness Shepherd's Pie. Ground beef is sautéed with vegetables with a rich gravy, flavored with thyme and Guinness stout beer. It's then topped with a layer of mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown. I'm not  a big meat & potatoes person, so my husband was very excited when he saw this on the dinner table. This dish is a little bit of work, but it makes a lot! Great for having company over, or freezing a portion for later. Start with the beef mixture. Sauté diced onions and carrots in some butter until golden and softened. Then, add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add a little flour and tomato paste; cook about 1 minute. (This will thicken up the gravy.) Then, add the Guinness, some beef stock, heavy cream, and a few other seasonings. Let it simmer 20-25 minutes until it's thick and saucy. PicMonkey Collage.jpg While the beef mixture is cooking, prepare the mashed potatoes. Just boil some peeled & diced potatoes until tender, and mash them up with some butter, heavy cream, and salt & pepper! (Instant mashed potatoes would work in a pinch.) IMG_6273 When the beef mixture is finished, spread it into a 9x13-inch pan. (Or, two 8x8-inch pans. I made one pan for the freezer.) IMG_6279 Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Brush with a beaten egg, and run a fork through the potatoes to make it look fancy. Bake at 375*F about 15 minutes; and then broil another 3-5 minutes until golden brown. IMG_6280 Definitely some great Irish comfort food here! I served it up with a loaf of Irish Soda Bread... perfect combination. IMG_6288 ---

Guinness Shepherd's Pie

Yield: One 9x13-inch pan
  • For the filling:
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 large onion, finely diced
    • 10-12 baby carrots, finely diced
    • 2-lb lean ground beef
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • ¼ cup heavy cream
    • cups beef stock
    • ¾ cup Guinness stout beer
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 cup frozen peas
  • For the topping:
    • lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • cup heavy cream
    • salt & pepper, to taste
    • 1 large egg , beaten
Method For the filling, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper; cook, breaking up the meat until browned. Add flour and tomato paste and cook until it begins to darken, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream and cook 1 minute more. Add stock, beer, soy sauce, and thyme; simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick but still saucy, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peas. For the topping, place potatoes along with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer on medium-low until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes; return to pot. Mash with butter, heavy cream, and additional salt & pepper to taste. To assemble the shepherd’s pie, place filling mixture in a 9x13-inch pan. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling, using a spatula to make it smooth. Brush with beaten egg and drag a fork across the top to make ridges. Bake at 375*F until filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Turn on broiler and cook 3-5 more minutes until top is golden brown. Source: adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen

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