By Becky Johnston
Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and it’s time to plan an Irish meal for the family. For many Americans the first Irish meal that comes to mind is Corned Beef and Cabbage, but Corned Beef and Cabbage isn’t actually an Irish meal. It was created by Irish families after they immigrated to America. If your family would like to have a more traditional Irish meal this Saint Patrick’s Day, try this recipe for traditional Irish Shepard’s Pie.
Traditional Irish Shepard’s Pie:
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tsp black pepper
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3-4 large carrots, finely diced
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 glass of red wine
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup of stock
- 6 cups of fresh or leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 egg, beaten
- Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1-Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2-Sauté carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender.
3-Add in the onions and sauté for a minute or two then add the meat.
4-Season with black pepper and thyme.
5-Cook until browned then drain the fat.
6-Add the butter and peas.
7-Sprinkle with flour and stir through.
8-Add tomato paste, wine and Worcestershire Sauce.
9-Let this reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. Allow to reduce down until you have a thick, meaty gravy. Season to your taste.
10-Remove from heat. Grease an oven proof dish (9 x 13) with butter and add the sauce.
11-Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.
12-Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top.
13-Serve as is or with some crusty bread to mop up that yummy sauce!
For an after dinner treat, try out one of these recipes for a Shamrock Smoothie or an Irish Apple Tart:
Irish Apple Tart
To make the pastry:
- 3.5 Cups of flour
- 2/3 generous cup of fine sugar
- 1 1/2 scant cups of unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 Tsp natural vanilla extract
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl, cut the butter into pieces and work it into the flour with your fingertips. Now make a well in the middle of the flour-and-butter mixture and add the egg, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Stir with a fork to incorporate the flour evenly until you have to begin using your hand. Using only one hand, bring the dry and wet ingredients together (this might take more time in the winter). On a floured work-surface, knead the dough for a few minutes then roll into 1/4-1/2 inch thickness.
For the apple filling:
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups of thinly sliced apples
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 Tsp of cinnamon
- a squeeze of one lemon
- 1 Tbsp of grated fresh ginger
Mix everything together and let sit for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place bottom pastry onto plate. Fill with apples. Place top of pastry case over apple filling. Bake for about one hour. Serve with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- 1 cup lime sherbet
- 1 cup plain frozen yogurt
- 2 ounces pear juice
- 1 Tsp lime juice
- 1 Tsp sugar
- 1/2 Tsp spearmint extract
- 2 Tbsp grated chocolate
- Mint leaves
Combine sherbet, yogurt, pear juice, lime juice, sugar and spearmint extract. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, garnish with grated chocolate and mint leaves. Serve. Makes about 2 servings.
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