Irish Shepherds Pie is one of the most beloved and traditional meals in the country. There are meat pies, and there are meat pies, but the real, traditional Irish Shepherds Pie is definitely outstanding!
Irish Shepherds Pie Recipe-
(makes 1 pie)
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
- 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1 lb. ground lamb (or your ground meat of choice, I use lamb for the sake of authenticity, and plus I like lamb meat)
- 1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and diced fine
- 3 – 4 large carrots, peeled and diced fine
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 – 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. Irish butter
- 1 cup good quality dry red wine (suggest a Bordeaux)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste (or 3 tbsp. ketchup, if you like a slightly sweeter pie)
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup lamb broth (can substitute beef broth)
- 6 cups mashed potatoes—either freshly cooked, or this is a good way to use leftover mashed potatoes (Note: if you want a recipe for mashed potatoes that are out of this world awesome? Click Here)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
- Pre-heat your oven to 400°F/200C.
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat, sauté the carrots in olive oil until becoming tender.
- Now add in the onions and garlic, and sauté until starting to become translucent and fragrant—about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Add in the ground meat, and season to taste with black pepper, thyme, and salt, cook until well browned, then drain off the fat.
- Next into the pan goes the butter and peas.
- Sprinkle flour over the entire mixture, and stir until mixed well throughout.
- Add in the wine, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste.
- Let this cook for a while, allowing it to reduce a bit, then add the broth. Keep cooking until the mixture has reduced in liquids to where you have a thick and meaty gravy.
- Do a taste test, and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Take the pan off the burner and set aside.
- Take an oven-proof baking dish, either 9” x 13” (or an equivalent in size and volume capacity oval or round dish) and grease it with the butter.
- Pour your meaty gravy mixture into the greased dish.
- Ladle the mashed potatoes over the top, distributing evenly. Some people like to get creative here, forming nice, appealing patterns, even using cake decorating implements (see picture).
- Brush the beaten egg over the top of the mashed potatoes, and finish it off with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. (Note: if you are making more than one pie, skip this step and the next step for the pie(s) you intend to freeze. When you unthaw the pie(s) for eating, once they are fully unthawed, then do this step and the next one)
- Bake until the potato layer is becoming a light, golden brown (or darker if you like, the meal is already cooked, this step is just to heat the potatoes well and for aesthetics).
- Serve your Irish Shepherds Pie! Goes great with some thick bread, for use in sopping up the delicious sauce.
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