Authentic Irish Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb. However, that is harder to find where I live, so this is made with ground beef. This recipe has a very rich gravy, which really IS the recipe. I make this in stages, and will describe as follows.
5 diced carrots
1 1/2 large vidalia onions
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2-3 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of red wine
1 small can of tomato paste
2 1/1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
2 cups peas
1 cup beef stock
1 egg beaten
cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese for cover
Make mashed potatoes using 7 medium potatoes. There really is an art to making mashed potatoes that I learned later in life than most. The trick is get the potatoes very tender so they pretty much fall apart. I use Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe cut into 3 inch cubes, cover with water, and let simmer while I chop the other vegetables.
I drain most of the water out, and whipped them with the electric mixer, added some milk, salt white pepper, and set them aside. They should be stiff enough so that they will sit on top of the meat mixture.
Meat mixture–Cut 5 carrots into small dice. Cut 1 1/2 LARGE vidalia onions into small dice. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the carrots until they begin to be tender. Add the onions and saute. Add the meat, saute until cooked, and drain off the fat.
Add the can of tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and red wine. Stir and heat. Reduce, and then add flour to thicken slightly.
Lightly grease a 9″x14″ casserole dish, and place the above meat mixture in it. Place the reserved mashed potatoes on top. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place casserole in the oven for 15 minutes until potatoes begin to get stiff. Pull out and sprinkle with your choice of cheese. I used a mall bag of grated Cheddar for the one in the picture. Put back in for another 15 minutes or until cheese is browned.