Before I left, everyone told me the food in Ireland sucked. I don’t know what they were ordering but I didn’t seem to have the same experience. As long as you weren’t ordering pizza and pasta from the local “Italian” restaurant, you’re good. Once thing we were expecting to see everywhere was Shepherds Pie. I searched the menus of every restaurant, and to my disappointment, nowhere to be found. We all know I love lamb so it was something that I felt I needed to try for the real “Irish Experience”. The 2 restaurants that had it on the menu were both made with beef, which Gordon Ramsay will tell you… is a Cottage Pie, not Shepherds.
The only pie we got to try was on the plane.. and we all know place food isn’t exactly Michelin star… and it definitely wasn’t lamb,
So. Lexi came home and Shepherds pie was a must.
Bria even ate a whole one and then yelled and did jumping jacks around the whole house for the rest of the night. She’s says I’m not allowed to make anything that tastes that good every again.. whoops…
I bought a few cookbooks while I was there and did some online research. I chose my favorite components from each one and put together Shepherds Pie alla Lexi.
I also was to determined to make it look pretty. A lump of meat and mashed potatoes in a plate isn’t necessarily the most photogenic dish..until now. A little fork design on the potatoes, some thyme and any chance I get to use my mini cast iron skillets… win.
Seriously… everything should be cooked in mini skillets.
I also did.a little shepherds pie spin. I don’t like mashed potatoes. Tell me I’m crazy.. I know, everyone does every time I say it. I did a little experimenting and sliced some thin crispy potatoes and set them on top as a mashed potato alternative. Succcessss.
Both ways are delicious. I will even eat the mashed potato topped one.. but thats because I left some lumps… gotta have the texture.
And Im pissed at myself that I put that stupid little thyme leaf in the middle because it’s annoying me and I wanna throw it off… but oh well.. just don’t look. Kay?
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lbs ground lamb
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 1.5 lb potatoes
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2-3 cups heavy cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Add 2tbs olive oil to skillet and sauté onions, carrots and celery until soft.
- Add lamb and garlic. Cook until lamb is browned.
- Sprinkle on flour, mix together and cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste, chicken broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10-15 until thickened.
- Add corn and peas. Put in greased casserole dish.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Peel and cut potatoes into cubes.
- Place potatoes in a medium/large saucepan. Cover with heavy cream. Add 2 sprigs of thyme, sage leaf, and pinch of salt. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain potatoes and reserve 1/4 cup of hot cream.
- Mash potatoes, add butter, hot cream, and egg yolk. Mix well to combine.
- Top filling with potatoes. Use a fork to create texture on top.
- Bake until top is golden brown.