Welcome to Friday Feast in Mary's Tavern! When I think of Shepherd's Pie, my imagination goes wild. Seriously! You can create any version of this dish with a variety of ingredients--from Yukon gold to sweet potatoes. And don't get me started on the filling. I've made it without meat and filled it with only vegetables and broth. The one above was made with ground beef but feel free to substitute your favorite. In fact, I challenge you to create your own version of this hearty dish and send me the recipe. I'll post it on a future "Friday Feast" here in the Tavern.
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1 ½ lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon of dried thyme (if using fresh, 1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¾ cup of Irish stout
1 cup low sodium beef broth
1 cup frozen peas
4 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup half-and-half
2 green onions, chopped
Peel and chop potatoes into large chunks. Cover with cold water in a large pot. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
While your potatoes are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (or canola oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrots, parsnips, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, approximately 5-8 minutes.
Add ground beef, breaking up in the pan. Completely cook and then drain the fat from the pan. Season again with salt and pepper. Add the thyme. Stir in the tomato paste into the meat. Then add Worcestershire sauce and Irish stout. Cook 5 minutes and then add beef broth. Simmer for another 5-8 minutes. Add in the peas.
Put meat mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish (or use a 9x13-inch pan).
Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add the butter and half-and-half. Mash into the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add extra half-and-half, if needed. Stir the green onions into the potatoes.
Spread potatoes over the meat mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 8-10 minutes.