There’s nothing like a slab of Shepherd's pie on a cold St. Patrick's Day. Shepherd’s pie is the perfect simple dinner that’s sure to put a smile on the face of any Irish person in your life as they celebrate our patron saint.
Shepherd’s pie, or cottage pie, as it’s known in Britain, is believed to have existed since around 1791, when potatoes became an available, affordable crop to the poor. This dish was a perfect way to stretch leftover roasted meat.
Originally, the pie was lined with mashed potato in addition to having a mashed potato crust. The term Shepherd’s pie came into use, alongside cottage pie, from around 1870.
Here’s a simple, tasty and inexpensive recipe for Shepherd’s pie:
2 tablespoons Irish butter
1 medium chopped onion
2 sliced carrots
4 tablespoons cream flour
2.5 cups browning stock
chopped parsley and thyme
2 cups cooked minced beef
3 cups mashed potatoes
Melt the Irish butter in a saucepan and add the chopped onion. Cover and let sweat for a few minutes.
Add the carrots.
Stir in the flour and cook until it is slightly browned, then add the stock and herbs.
Bring to the boil and then reduce it a little by boiling for about 5 minutes.
Add the meat and bring back to the boil.
Place in a pie dish and cover with the mashed potatoes. Put into a medium hot oven (350f/180c) for about 30 minutes.