Irish Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious comforting dish perfect for celebrating upcoming St Patrick’s Day. Ground meat is cooked with lots of vegetables and Guiness, topped with delicious mashed potatoes and cheese and then baked to create a perfect golden crust. It’s simply delicious and flavorful and a great choice for lunch or dinner.
Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional dish, known since the 18th century, a dish that used to be made with leftovers in order to avoid waste. The recipe is very similar to Cottage Pie, the main difference is the meat used in preparing the dish. While Shepherd’s pie uses lamb, Cottage Pie uses beef. So depending on which meat you prefer to use, name your dish accordingly.
I really loved the idea of piping the mashed potato on top as it gave a more sophisticated look ,but if you are in a hurry, simply spread mashed potatoes on top and bake until golden. We have really loved this Irish Shepherd’s Pie dish and hope you will too. Enjoy!
Irish Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil
- 1 large onion (about 7oz- 200g) , diced
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 large carrots (about 12 oz - 350g) , peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks (about 3.5 oz - 100g) , diced
- 1 ½ pounds (680g) ground lamb (or ground beef for Cottage Pie)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Guinness
- 2 tbsp (20g) flour
- 2 tbsp (30g) tomato paste
- 1 tsp (5g) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1g) pepper
- 1 cup (240ml) beef broth
- 1 tbsp (15ml) Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary , finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme , finely chopped
- 1 cup (150g) frozen peas
- 2 pounds (900g) potatoes , peeled and cut in similar size pieces
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
- 1/4 cup (56g) butter
- 3/4 cup (75g) cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp (2g) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2g) garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp (1g) pepper , to taste
- Prepare meat filing. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
- Add the diced carrots and diced celery and cook for a few minutes until slightly softened. Add ground meat and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the meat is browned. Break up the meat while cooking.
- Stir in Guiness and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
- Add flour and stir to coat, cooking for 1 minute more. Add tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer for few more minutes, until liquid is reduced and vegetables are tender.
- Stir in peas and then remove from heat.
- Prepare the mashed potatoes. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot with water that has been generously salted. Cook until the potatoes are perfectly tender. Drain the potatoes and return them in the hot pot on low heat and shake them around for a couple of minutes to remove the excess moisture.
- Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with butter. Add milk and mix to combine. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add cheddar cheese and mix to combine.
- Transfer mashed potatoes into a large piping bag fitted with 1M tip.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Transfer the meat filling into a 2 quart (2 liters) baking dish. Flatten the mixture using the back of a spoon or spatula.
- Pipe mashed potatoes on top of the meat filling.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.