Friday Feast ~ Shepherd’s Pie

IMG_3389At the end of October, the doorway to the dark half of the Celtic year swings open. This is the festival of Samhain, meaning summer’s end. For me, it is a time to reflect on the past year and settle in for the season. What have I accomplished? What do I need to let go? This is a time to go forth with positive thoughts and banish the negative.

I usually prepare a feast and leave out an extra plate for anyone passing through–be it spirit, or flesh and blood. A time when the veils between the worlds, seen and unseen, are verra thin.

I’m sharing a family favorite. Yet, I added a twist last year. Yams! It gives the dish a slighter sweeter taste.

However you celebrate, be safe and watch out for the faeries. They’ll be forever grateful if you leave them some milk, too.

Sláinte!

Shepherd’s Pie

Filling:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs. ground beef, turkey, or lamb (I usually use turkey or beef)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons, chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups low-sodium beef stock

1 cup Guinness

Topping:

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 your preference of meat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Stir in the onion and cook for 5 minutes, and onions are soft. Add the carrots, 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. Add the meat, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper.

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.

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2 comments


  1. I’ll surely teleport and have a taste from the plate you leave outside. Shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite dishes.
    With some variations we cook it the same you do.
    Moreover here there’s also shepherd’s pie that has as basis and on top slices of egg-plant.
    Happy Samhain/Halloween, dear friend!

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