How To Make Shepherd’s Pie

If there’s one thing the Irish do well when it comes to food, it’s making it as hearty as possible. We’re talking warm and cozy. The kind of food you just want to cuddle up with by the fire and a good book. Shepherd’s pie is one of the best examples of hearty Irish food. Lamb, vegetables and herbs are sautéed together to create a savory filling that isn’t shy on flavor. Then the filling is set in a casserole dish and topped with the food that the Irish are most known for—delicious whipped potatoes. Pop it in the oven for a bit so the potatoes get a nice crispy crust and serve it piping hot. Just don’t burn your mouth!

Follow along with our online culinary school chef as he shows you how to make a hearty shepherd’s pie. This traditional Irish dish is the perfect meal to transition into cooler weather.

Shepherd’s Pie

2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 lb ground beef or ground lamb
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 cup of beef stock
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can crushed tomatoes
½ cup red wine
2 bay leafs
½ cup frozen peas
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs russet potatoes peel and diced
½ cup heavy cream
8 tbsp unsalted butter

1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Whisk potatoes into a smooth paste, add the butter and cream. Season with white pepper and salt.

2. While the potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 to 4 minutes. If using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add the chopped garlic, onion, celery and carrots to the meat. Cook for a few minutes then add the tomato paste and cook until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until wine evaporates. Add the stock, Worcestershire, bay leaves, thyme, and tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes and then stir in the peas at the end.

3. Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small casserole with the meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. (A pastry bag can be used) Broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

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