Is there a dish you have heard about your whole life but somehow never tried. For me, it was shepherds pie. Over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, many people said that they were making this dish to celebrate the holiday. I decided it was time for me to make an Irish Shepherds Pie topped with Colcannon. Where has this tasty dish been all my life?
You would think that as a wee lass, my mother would have fed this to me often…but no. Maybe it was because I was brought up in Texas where everything is about steak, BBQ and Tex-Mex. Perhaps it was the fact that my father was a very picky eater and never wanted to eat something as “strange” as lamb.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad I decided to make shepherds pie…it is delicious. The idea for this dish started when I made colcannon to go with corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. I thought that colcannon topped shepherds pie would be a perfect combo. This is a dish that most people will probably have made many times and don’t even need a recipe. But if you are like me and have never had shepherds pie or don’t have a good recipe, I think you will like my version of this classic Irish dish. The recipe can be made with beef but I urge you to try making it with lamb to really appreciate the great taste of the dish. It is so good that you don’t need to wait for a holiday to make this recipe.
Irish Shepherds Pie Topped With Colcannon
- 1 lb. ground lamb (you can use beef, then it’s called Cottage Pie)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1 c. beef broth
- 1/2 c. mushroom broth (made from soaking dried porcini mushrooms in hot water and strained through a coffee filter)
- 1/4 c. red wine
- 2 Tbsp. of flour mixed in 1/4 c. water (this will prevent lumps)
- 3 c. colcannon (see link for recipe or you can use buttered mashed potatoes)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a skillet, brown the lamb and then use a slotted spoon and remove to a bowl. Drain all the fat, leaving just enough to coat the skillet. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the lamb back to the skillet and season with the salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients (except the colcannon) and simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has become thick. Remove the bay leaf and taste for more seasonings. Place the lamb mixture in a ovenproof dish and top with the colcannon or potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes become golden. You can put the casserole under the broil for a couple of minutes it you wish it to become browner.
Since this is a brown dish, I served petite peas and pearl onions braised in a little butter to bring color and freshness to the plate. This isn’t a pretty dish, so there won’t be compliments in that department. But it is delicious and all the plates at the table will be clean at the end of the meal. Especially is you have some nice bread to soak up some of the juices. I’ve had shepherds pie for the first time but it certainly won’t be the last.