St. Patrick’s Day is always a much anticipated holiday in our house. We’ll take any excuse to drink a good beer of course, but I also happen to look fabulous in green! I’ve never been a corned beef & cabbage gal – I usually opt for this Pot Roast with Stout Gravy for our St. Patrick’s Day Feast. But, this Shepherd’s Pie is definitely giving it a run for it’s money…
Unlike the pot roast, this recipe is completely doable after a day at work. Sweating some veggies, browning some beef, then making a quick pan gravy with plenty of dark Irish stout. And while that’s going on, you can be boiling your potatoes to mash for the topping. I baked and served right in my cast iron skillet – I always love the rustic presentation at the table, especially for something like this dish. And one less pan to wash is always a good thing.
Not terribly long in the oven either, just enough time to get the gravy bubbling and the taters nice and browned on top. Which, is actually about the time it takes to sit down an enjoy a nip of Irish spirits, or taking a few moments to read your wee little leprechauns a tall tale. Stay tuned, because I have a few other St. Patty’s Day favorites I’m looking forward to sharing with you guys this week!
Pub-Style Shepherd’s Pie
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped fine
4 oz white mushrooms, chopped fine
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin (90/10)
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cut low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry, dark stout (like Guinness)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 cup frozen peas
For the topping:
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup heavy cream, warmed
Ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 375.
Place potatoes in a large pan full of cold water. Place over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook potatoes until fork-tender – about 20 minutes. Drain, return to warm pan, and cover.
Melt butter in large cast iron skillet over medium-high head. Add onion, carrots, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies are starting to brown on the edges – about 7 minutes. Remove to small bowl and set aside.
Add the ground beef to to pan along with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you cook. Cook until completely browned on all sides. Drain as much grease from the beef as you can. Return veggies to the pan along with the beef.
Add the tomato paste, as well as the flour to the pan – tossing with the beef and veggies to coat completely. Cook over medium-heat for about 2 minutes to brown the tomato paste and flour – this really helps develop flavor for the sauce.
Slowly pour in the beer, as well as the chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and cook until liquids thicken and start to bubble. Carefully stir in the heavy cream, soy sauce, thyme, and peas – stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the potato topping, warm 1/3 cup heavy cream and 2 Tbsp butter in a microwavable safe bowl for about 1 minute. Add warm mixture to the cooked potatoes, and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until smooth. You can also use your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the gravy in the cast-iron skillet. Using the tines of a fork, rough up the surface of the mashed potatoes (this helps with browning). Brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg.
Carefully place the skillet in the oven, and bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, until potatoes are browned and gravy is bubbly.
Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Fall Entertaining, Fall 2010