Shepherd’s Pie, aka Cottage pie, is an Irish Pub favorite. A savory beef filling topped with fluffy whipped potatoes and sharp cheddar cheese is a delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or any day of the week. Add a Guinness and you’ve got a party.
This dish can be made ahead and baked the next day. Remove it from the refrigerator at least a half and hour before baking. You may need to add 10 minutes to the baking time.
Cheddar-Topped Shepherd’s Pie adapted from Everyday Food Oct 2008
5 large Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and medium diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon light olive oil
3 large carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered and diced
3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise, quartered and diced
1 cup petite green peas
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup hot water
1. 25 pounds ground beef (ground round)
1/2 cup half and half or buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (6 ounces)
Preheat Oven to 450 degrees
Add potatoes to a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.Test with a fork after 15 minutes for doneness. Drain potatoes, then return to saucepan. Over low heat stir continuously until potatoes start to dry out. Remove from heat and add butter and half of the milk. Whip with a mixer, adding more milk if needed. Potatoes should be thick and fluffy. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
In a 5 quart Dutch oven or large heavy bottom sauce pan, sauté vegetables in oil with herbs until tender, about 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, stirring often. Add one cup hot water and simmer one minute. Add peas and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour beef and vegetable filling into a casserole dish. I used an 11 x 7 x 3 oval baker. Top with whipped potatoes and spread to the edges. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until topping starts to lightly brown and filling is bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.