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I am…

…thinking about pie again.  Only this time it is a savory pie.

Not all pies are dessert nor are they always sweet, right?  And with St. Patrick’s day here, it is time to combine some luck of the Irish with pie.  I promise, however, that you won’t need to kiss the Blarney Stone in order to make a really great Shepherd’s Pie.  This one is so easy and delicious.  Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Garlicky Potato Top

5 large red potatoes, washed and quartered

4 large garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 c sour cream

1/4 c beef broth, if needed

2 Tbsp butter, softened

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

Filling

2-4 bacon slices, cut into smaller strips

1 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 large onion, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 lb ground beef (or ground meat of your choice)

2-3 medium carrots, sliced

3/4 c frozen peas

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp flour

6-12oz light or dark ale of your choice

1/2 c beef broth

3-4 medium mushrooms, sliced (optional)

1 tsp dried thyme

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions – Prepare the potatoes

In a large pot filled 3/4 full of cold water, add potatoes, garlic and a good amount of salt.  Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender.  Drain potatoes with the garlic and return to the pot so that the additional water will evaporate.  Add salt, pepper and butter.  Mash the potatoes with the garlic.  Add the sour cream and continue to mash.  If the potatoes seem a bit dry add the beef broth.  Cover and set aside.

Directions – Filling

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add canola oil and bacon.  Fry bacon until almost crisp.  Remove the bacon leaving the bacon grease behind. 

Add the onion and 1/2 tsp of salt and cook, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with sugar and continue to cook and stir.  This will caramelize the onions a bit. 

Stir in the ground beef and cook, stirring, until the meat is almost completely brown.  Add the carrots, peas and garlic.  Cook until the veggies start to soften. 

Stir in the tomato paste and flour.  Add the beer and bring to a boil for 3 minutes or until the liquid from the beer has just about evaporated.  Be sure to scrape up the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  At this point, add the beef broth, mushrooms, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer the filling until the sauce has thickened. 

If your pan is oven-safe, you can spoon the potato topping on top of the filling.  Otherwise, spoon your filling into a lightly greased baking dish and then top with the potatoes.  Sprinkle the potatoes with the sliced green onion.

Bake until the topping is lightly brown and the edges are bubbly (about 25 minutes).  Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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