Today marks St Patrick’s Day, the national Irish holiday to honour one of Ireland's patron saints. Some take their celebrations to the local pub and others indulge in the classic feast of the traditional savoury Shepherd's Pie.
Made with ground lamb or beef, carrots, peas and mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie is perfect for a St. Patrick's Day lunch or dinner. It is a classic British and Irish dish, originating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Many people celebrate St Patrick’s Day enjoying the warm pie, and on the regular days too, as it acts as comfort food in Irish culture.
Shepherd’s pie recipes have evolved over time to include a variety of different ingredients. These variations include ground beef filling instead of lamb or a vegetarian filling option of mushrooms or lentils. It is a versatile meal that can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary requirements.
The traditional Irish recipe is baked with lamb mince and vegetables in a rich gravy, topped with cheesy mashed potatoes. The meat is added to softened carrots, onion and celery, which is then loosened up with stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and bay leaves to make a delicious gravy.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, trimmed, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
500g lamb mince
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp plain flour
500ml (2 cups) beef style stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
4 desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery stir for 5 minutes or until soft
- Add University Meat’s lamb mince and cook, stirring to break up any lumps for 5 minutes or until lamb changes colour
- Add the flour and stir for 2 minutes or until combined
- Add stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Meanwhile, cook potato in salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well and return to the pan with the butter
- Mash the potato until smooth, add milk and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spoon lamb mixture into a 2L (8 cup) capacity ovenproof baking dish or use 4 individual ovenproof serving dishes. Top with mashed potato and spread over lamb mixture.
- Brush with butter and bake for 20 minutes or until mashed potato is golden brown
Add a side of vegetables or Irish Soda Bread and enjoy.
There’s nothing like a warm serving of shepherd’s pie. This dish has all the elements for a perfect dinner, on the table in just over an hour.