Shepherd’s Pie seems to be from both English and Irish and eaten around St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t care what time of year it is, this is a perfect dish to make on a bleary, rainy day. But don’t let that stop you, we have 15 inches of snow where I live, and it’s delicious then, too!
2 Tbsp. butter
2 lbs. ground beef
1 large onion, peeled & diced
3/4 cup frozen peas – no need to thaw
2 carrots, peeled & diced or cut into coins
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour or you can use cornstarch
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Pinch of nutmeg
Kosher salt & ground black pepper
3 large potatoes peeled and diced
6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup of half-n-half or milk
And, 2 more Tbsp. butter
In a large pot melt the butter then add the ground beef, onion, and carrots and cook over low heat until the meat is browned – takes about 10 minutes; drain and place back in pot. Add the flour and cook for one full minute, then add the beef stock, Worcestershire, spices and peas. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pot with enough cold water to cover, sprinkle in some salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and simmer for about 25 minutes. Drain and place potatoes in a bowl with 6 Tbsp. butter, the half-n-half and salt & pepper to taste – mash until smooth. I use a hand held mixer to mash them.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and transfer the beef mixture to a 9 x 13 pan. Place the mashed potatoes over the top of the beef mixture and spread around as carefully as you can – take your time spreading them. Dice the last 2 Tbsp. butter and scatter over the top. Bake this until bubbly and slightly browned – about 30 minutes.