Welcome to the Tavern! In my cravings for this dish, I was reminded of a certain scene with Conn and Ivy from Quest of a Warrior...
Ivy let out a groan when she took the first bite. “Holy moly!” she exclaimed between mouthfuls. “It’s so much better than in America. The fish is so fresh and moist.” She continued to eat, the warmth of the food bringing a sense of peace within her. Wiping her mouth with a napkin, she noticed Conn hadn’t eaten. He sat staring at her, his intensity heating her face. “What? Food still on my face?”
He leaned forward. "Do you always eat with such pleasure?"
“I…um…well it’s go…od,” she sputtered, embarrassed by his question.
Chuckling softly, he stood. “Let me get you some water.”
Frustration seethed inside of her. “Why aren’t you eating?”
The man shrugged, bringing her a glass of water. “I’ll eat the chips, but will pass on the fish.”
Realization dawned on Ivy. “You’re a vegetarian?”
Conn nodded, reaching for a chip and sitting back down.
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I didn’t want to appear rude.”
Ivy gaped at the man, unable to say anything else.
When the first drop of water landed on his head, Conn narrowed his eyes and glanced upward. “Eat your meal quickly, Ivy, for I fear the roof is next on my list for this afternoon.”
There are many layers to this warrior, but I was surprised to learn this ancient Fenian Fae Warrior was a vegetarian. This is one of Conn’s favorite meals at the Seven Swans Pub, along with a good Irish stout. Sláinte!
Conn’s MacRoich's Shepherd’s Pie
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Green garlic (if unable to find any, substitute 2 cloves of garlic, chopped)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
8 oz package of sliced mushrooms
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 tablespoons, chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 cup Guinness
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
2 lbs. Russet or Yukon potatoes—OR Yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
3-4 tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Cheddar, grated (optional)
In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the olive oil to the pan. Stir in the onion and cook for 5 minutes and onions are soft. Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, parsley, and thyme. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the flour, cook for several minutes, and then add the stock and Guinness. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper and add the peas and remove skillet from heat.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the potatoes for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash. Add the milk and butter. Stir until smooth.
Transfer the stew to a large casserole dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture and bake for 10-12 minutes. Preheat the broiler and sprinkle the potatoes with the grated cheese, if using. Broil until potatoes are slightly brown and cheese is bubbling.