St. Patrick’s Day is more than shamrocks, green beer and wearing green clothes. It is a day that many of us will eat a traditional Irish meal while we are celebrating the holiday with family. When we think of Irish food, we often think of potatoes, cabbage and noodles and corn beef hash. But, having recently returned from Ireland, I can attest that Irish food is more than that. Dairy and beef farming are very strong in Ireland so the array of delicious cheeses and beef dishes are pertinent. Lamb, pork and chicken (think chicken and dumplings) are also part of the culture. Wheat, oats and barley are common grains while potatoes, cabbage and curly kale are popular vegetables.
This year don’t let time be your excuse for not making an Irish favorite. Here is one of my favorite comfort meals, made easy and a little healthier. And while Shepard’s pie is actually an English meal, it will be found on many menus throughout Ireland as well.
A traditional shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, but you can use lean ground beef and low-fat beef gravy in this recipe (believe me it is delicious!!)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
2 cups cooked lean ground beef
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 cups frozen veggies- peas, carrots and corn
2 cups beef gravy
Pepper to taste
2 cups mashed potato, prepared with skim milk and seasonings as desired
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Combine cooked beef, gravy, peas, carrots, corn and chopped onion; season with pepper to taste. This is now referred to as the “beef mixture.” Line the bottom of a baking dish with the beef mixture then cover with mashed potatoes. Dot mashed potato topping with butter, sprinkle with pepper and paprika, then bake for about 30 minutes at 400°, or until potato topping is browned and the Shepherd’s pie is thoroughly heated.
This shepherd’s pie recipe serves 4 and is delicious, fast and so easy to make.
What’s on your dinner menu for St. Patrick’s day?