Serve Up a Celebratory St. Patrick’s Day Supper!
Make a satisfying shepherd’s pie for St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re short on time, you can use frozen veggies for easy prep. Did you know that in America shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef, while in England it’s traditionally made with ground lamb?
Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie
For the Potato Topping
1 ½ pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces, rinsed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup half-and-half
Kosher salt, to season
Freshly ground black pepper, to season
1 raw egg yolk
For the Meat Filling
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 small to medium carrots, peeled, rinsed, and cut into small dice
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup frozen English peas
½ cup frozen corn kernels
For the Potato Topping
Place potatoes in a medium saucepan, then cover potatoes with cold water. Cover saucepan and cook potatoes over high heat until the water begins to boil. Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Uncover the saucepan. Cook potatoes for approximately 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender all the way through. Drain the potatoes. Melt the butter and half-and-half in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds or until warmed. Place potatoes back into the saucepan. Lightly mash or mix potatoes. Add the butter and half-and-half mixture to the saucepan, then season potatoes with salt and black pepper. Mash or mix potatoes until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Add the yolk to the mashed potatoes; stir well until combined.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the Meat Filling, and Assembling
Prepare the meat filling while the potatoes are cooking. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola or vegetable oil to the skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the carrots and onions to the skillet; sauté for about 4 minutes or until the vegetables start to color. Add the garlic to the skillet; stir ingredients to combine. Add the ground beef, salt, and black pepper to the skillet; cook and stir ingredients until the ground beef is browned and cooked through. If there is excess fat in the skillet, drain. Sprinkle the flour over the ground beef mixture; stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, Worcestershire, and chicken broth to skillet. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the sauce is just thickened, approximately 10 minutes.
Stir the peas and corn into the ground beef mixture, then spoon and spread the ground beef mixture into an 11- by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, and starting around the edges, smooth the mashed potatoes over the ground beef mixture with a rubber spatula. Make sure to create a seal all around the edge of the baking dish with the mashed potatoes to keep the filling from bubbling out. If you want, you can place some of the mashed potatoes into a plastic baggie, cut off a corner of the plastic baggie, and then pipe some of the mashed potatoes into decorative dollops all around the edge to create the seal. Place the baking dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Set the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake until the potatoes begin to brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer the shepherd’s pie from the oven to a cooling rack. Let the shepherd’s pie cool for 15 minutes before serving.