And Our Mermaid Recipe For It.
Have you ever had Shepherd’s Pie? If not, you’re missing out. We’ve included a from-scratch authentically-made recipe from one of our Mermaid’s Irish grandmother that you’ve really got to try! Of course, our Mermaid put her spin on it with our versatile Land & SEAsoning spice mix, enhancing its flavor and nutrition!
But first, let’s talk about the history of one of Ireland’s most beloved dishes and why it’s so adored by Irish and non-Irish alike. (Source: The Irish Nobleman)
Shepherd’s Pie first came about late in the 1700s and early 1800s. Accordingly, housewives back then were on the frugal side. Much like we do today, they were looking for ways to incorporate those leftovers that husbands and kids would turn up their noses at. The struggle was real back then just like today. (You can often find delicious Shepherd’s Pie in many Irish Pubs as a featured lunch or dinner menu item. )
While Shepherd’s Pie certainly came about as a way to put those leftovers to good use, the results were delicious. Recipes vary widely but have the same basic structure. Traditionally, there’s a crust of mashed potatoes on the top and bottom (we skip the bottom layer and it’s still just as delicious!). Inside, there’s minced meat. A Cottage Pie is similar and uses beef while a Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb or mutton. In the U.S., Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with ground beef, as is the recipe we’ve provided.
The meat is simmered in a gravy of onions and other vegetables like celery, carrots or peas, sometimes all of these. The result is something comforting and delicious that will warm you from the inside out. So, while the history of this dish is anything but mystifying, it is something that Irish cooks like to put their own unique spin on. Like anything else, it’s fun to try out different seasonings and vegetables. And just like everyone makes mashed potatoes in their own way, the whole thing can be an incredibly diverse experience.
Mermaid-Style Shepherd’s Pie
For the Beef & Vegetable Layer:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1-1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 3/4 cups finely chopped (small cubes) carrot
- 1/2 cup peas (use frozen)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced (optional)
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1-2 tablespoon of Land & SEAsoning
- Salt & Pepper
For the Mashed Potato Layer (or use your favorite mashed potato recipe):
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons Butter, softened
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon of Land & SEAsoning
- 1 Tablespoon of chopped parsley
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, then add beef. Brown beef until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. If necessary, drain off or soak up any excess beef fat with a paper towel, then add onion, carrot and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, the Land & SEAsoning then cook for 10 minutes, until soft.
Add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add butter to the pan and toss around until fully melted, then stir in flour, thyme leaves, and garlic (optional). Stir for 1 minute, until flour disappears. Add beef stock, then bring liquid to a boil over high heat. Cook for a minute or two until broth thickens into a light sauce. Remove pan from heat and transfer mixture to an 8×8 baking dish. (You can also put the mixture and potatoes in either a deep dish pie plate or four ramekins for individual servings.)
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
To make the mashed potatoes, place cubed potatoes in a pot filled with cold water. Place on the stove set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, until potato cubes are fork-tender. Drain then mash the potatoes with a masher, then stir in cream, milk, butter, and cheese. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments with salt and pepper. Spread mashed potatoes on top of the beef and veggies in the 8×8 baking dish. Sprinkle a small amount (about a teaspoon) of Land & SEAsoning on top for a little color and added flavor.
Bake Shepherd’s Pie for 20–25 minutes, until mashed potatoes are golden brown and crispy on top. Sprinkle finely chopped parsley on top for added freshness. Enjoy! (If you want, serve with a Guinness for an Irish Pub experience!)