Monday, November 26, 2007

Something like Shepherd’s Pie (and an apology to all of Ireland)

Can you call something Shepherd’s Pie if:
A) You’ve never seen an actual, honest-to-goodness shepherd in your life?
B) You’re pretty sure there isn’t a shepherd within easy driving distance?
C) You will not be feeding said Pie to anyone who remotely resembles a Shepherd?

To be sure I wasn’t breaking any laws that would get me banned from Ireland for life, I told The Professor to bring out his robe and carry a staff for a while, and maybe shoo the cats from one room to another. I didn’t get very far with any of those requests.

So, Ireland, I want you to know that I tried to be as close as possible to a shepherd, but my husband didn’t feel like “playing any wacky games tonight”.
Oh, and I had no lamb, so I made do with ground beef.
I’m losing you, aren’t I, Ireland?
But I love me some Jameson’s in my coffee, and I absolutely adore the color green. So please let me come back one day if I promise not to call this Shepherd’s Pie anymore?

Something like a Shepherd’s Pie

1 pound ground beef
2 tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp time
1 ½ cups of gravy (you can substitute some beef broth and a couple of tablespoons of flour)
Pepper to taste
3-4 cups of mashed potatoes

Start browning the meat in a medium skillet. Cook throroughly.

Melt the butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the carrots and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are mostly softened.

When the meat is finished browning, drain in a colander and add to the vegetables with the can of tomatoes and the thyme. Pour in the gravy, and mix thoroughly. Add the pepper and pour the whole she-bang into a casserole dish.
Spoon the mashed potatoes on top, spreading to cover.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes.
If you really want to rock someone’s world, serve with some cheese grated on top. OR, add the cheese and pop under the broiler til it gets kinda crispy and yummy.


kittie said...

Great blog - I've only just discovered it!

Just to let you know - if you make Shepherds pie with beef, then we* call it Cottage pie - utterly yummy comfort food either way :)

* I'm a Scottish lass living in England - never realised it was an Irish dish!

Deborah said...

Thanks Kittie. :) And I agree - no matter what you use, it's great comfort food.

Anonymous said...

As an Irish person I have to say this is pretty true to a real Irish Shepherd's pie, basically whatever needs eaten gets added. The cheese is pretty essential and I do hope that your mashed potatoes are made with butter and cream though, otherwise there's very little hope for you in the Emerald Isle! Oh and good choice with the Jamesons, one of my favourites.