Irish Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Irish Shepherd's Pie

2 lbs ground beef (a bit more is fine)
1 cup sweet onion, diced (1 med onion)
1 cup baby carrots, diced (4 med carrots)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 can Guinness draught stout
1/2 cup red wine (plus another dash)
3/4 cup beef broth
4-6 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp dried marjoram (optional)
1 cup peas, preferably fresh, or frozen (thawed)
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Ulster Champ Topping (traditional Irish mashed potatoes)

Brown beef in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
Drain excess fat when cooked and add onion, carrots, garlic, stout, wine, broth,
Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, sage and marjoram. Stir and bring to a simmer
over medium-low heat. Cook 15 minutes or until carrots are fork tender. Add peas.

While meat is simmering, bring large pot of water to boil for potatoes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 2 TBSPs of the butter and the 3 TSPBs of flour with a fork in a bowl.
Once it's a paste, slowly incorporate roux into simmering beef mixture until
desired thickness is achieved. Continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes to allow
roux and flavors to meld. Season with salt and pepper.

Ulster Champ Topping

1 1/4 lbs russet potatoes, about 4-5 medium
4 tbsp butter
1 - 1 1/2 cups finely grated Irish white Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
1/3 cup scallions or chives, chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste

Scrub and peel potatoes. Cut into large pieces. In a large pot, simmer potatoes
until fork tender. Drain well and return pot to low heat to remove excess moisture.
Stir in butter and cheese and whip, gradually adding milk, parsley and scallions
or chives. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon potato topping evenly over meat mixture, making irregular peaks with the
back of a spoon. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown
and crusty on edges and mixture is heated throughout.

If desired, place casserole under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to crisp potatoes.
Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly to set, and serve immediately.
Serve with HP sauce.

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