St. Patrick’s Day is on Saturday, and in honor of my Irish heritage (Shout-Out to the Horrigan clan)…  I am posting some Irish treats for the remainder of the week!

I’ve noticed a pattern with the Irish… they are BIG on meat and potatoes. FYI: That’s pronounced “bo-day-do” if you hail from Ireland! Just ask my Irish co-worker. She’s from Dublin and had a customer on the phone one day and their conversation went something like this:

Customer: “Now, what type of alcohol is in your products?”
Philomena: “Ah, well that’d be a bodaydo alcohol.”
Customer: “a WHAT?”
Philomena: “Bodaydo… you know… like a baked bodaydo…”
Customer: … silence… (clearly not knowing what the heck she was saying) “a WHAT???”
[I poke my head around the corner and whisper… “PSSSTT… Philo – that’s PO-TAY-TOE…”]
Philomena quickly says to the customer: (sounding it out phonetically) “PO-TAY-TOE!”  
Customer: “Ohhhhh… POTATO!!”

Lesson learned, right Philo?! 😉

Okay, not sure why that story seemed relevant to this post… haha but I can’t help but think of it every time I say potato!

Anyhow, Shepherds Pie is an Irish “meat and potatoes” classic. It’s is easy, delicious, and super kid friendly (hello – the veggies are mixed right into the meat… tricky tricky!).

So… if you’re not into Corned Beef & Cabbage, make this treat instead on Saturday!

Stop back by tomorrow for an idea on how to use up left over corned beef…

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Shepherd's Pie

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45-60 minutes

Total Time: 60-75 minutes


For the Mashed Potatoes:
3 pounds of baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 teaspoons salt (more or less to taste)
Pepper, to taste

For the Shepherds Pie:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 cups mixed frozen peas and carrots
3/4 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cheddar (or Colby) cheese, shredded (optional)


For the Mashed Potatoes:
Rinse and peel potatoes. Cut into uniformed sized pieces (about 1" cubes) and add them to the bottom of a large pot. Cover potatoes with cold water and salt the water with 2-3 teaspoons of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until fork tender (a fork should pierce them easily). Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes.

Drain potatoes and them place into a large bowl. Add butter and beat with a hand mixer until potatoes are nice and crumbled. Add milk and sour cream and continue to mix until smooth, adding salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you salt them well - there is nothing worse than bland potatoes! Set aside until ready to use.

For the Shepherd's Pie:
Preheat oven at 400 degrees F. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and saute until softened (about 5 to 8 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables begin to brown a little bit, add the tomato paste and mix until well incorporated.

Add the ground beef and cook until beef is cooked completeley (it will no longer be pink), about 8-10 minutes. Add the frozen peas and carrots, beef stock, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Reduce heat to low and simmer meat mixture for another 10-12 minutes. Transfer mixture to an oven-safe baking dish and spread into one even layer.

Spread potatos in and even layer on top of ground beef mixture. You have 2 options here:

1. Top with shredded cheese and bake until melted (about 5 minutes). - This was our obvious choice 😉
2. Skip the cheese and rake through the potatoes with a fork to form peaks (helps them brown well), place into the preheated oven and bake until potatoes are browned (about 20 minutes).

Spoon out the shepherd's pie and serve hot!

Slightly Adapted from: Danny Boome