April 24, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

My parents stayed with us on their way to Dallas. Since we would not be seeing my dad on his birthday, we decided to celebrate it that night. I decided to make one of the few Irish foods that I will actually eat.

This recipe is an amalgamation of several that I have found in various cookbooks and websites. The biggest changes that I have made are to use beef instead of lamb and to include Guinness.

Shepherd’s Pie

3 Tbsp. Canola Oil
2 lbs. Ground Beef
Salt and Pepper
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
4 Carrots, Peeled and Diced
2 Tbsp. Parsley
1 tsp. Thyme
1 C. Guinness (or other Stout)
2 C. Chicken or Beef Stock
3 Tbsp. Flour

2 lbs. Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into 1-inch pieces
½ C. Milk
2 Tbsp. Butter
½ C. Cheddar Cheese, Grated

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the beef and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned (does not have to be fully cooked at this point). Drain the meat and season with salt and pepper.

I used baby carrots for this dish. Just make sure that there is approximately the same amount of carrots and onions.
2. Stir in the onion, carrots, parsley, and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Add the broth and stout. Bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thickened. Season again with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 425°F.

4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash. Add the milk and butter and stir until smooth.

5. Transfer the stew to a large casserole dish or 4 individual ovenproof casserole dishes. Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the mixture is hot. Preheat the broiler for just a few minutes and sprinkle the potatoes with the grated cheese, if using. Place the pie under the preheated broiler, 4 inches from the heat source, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling.

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