A 20-minute dinner doesn’t get much better than this classic Irish comfort food. It’s perfect for your St. Paddy’s Day celebration, but it’s plenty delicious enough to make all year long.
Shepherd’s Pie is one of those foods you’ll find on any March 17 restaurant menu. You’re practically required to eat it at some point in the month of March. It has become as synonymous with the St. Patrick’s Day celebration as pints of green beer — which is to say, that neither the green-dyed drinks nor this beef-based dinner are exactly Irish. Traditional Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb or mutton (It’s Cottage Pie that uses beef). But here in the U.S., we’ve definitely put our own spin on the holiday, so I think this dish gets a pass, too.
I like to cut corners with this recipe and get everything pre-chopped so all I have to do is brown some beef and throw it together. I buy a tub of ready-made mashed potatoes from the deli, carrots already chopped (usually in the salad section), and sometimes, if I’m really in a hurry, even pre-chopped onions. I know! It’s a waste of money. But “time is money”, and sometimes you want dinner asap! It’s still cheaper than ordering take-out… so I appease my frugal mind.
If you do have time, (or leftovers) homemade mashed potatoes make this dish even more yummy. And of course, if you buy your produce in bulk and chop it yourself, you’ll find that leprechaun has left you with a few extra gold coins in your wallet.
Super Simple Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup carrots, chopped into matchsticks
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup beef stock + 3/4 cup beef stock
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- smoked paprika
- (optional) parsley (for garnish)
- In a cast-iron or oven-safe skillet, cook the ground beef for about 5 minutes, crumbling as it cooks, or until browned. Add garlic and carrots for about 3 minutes. Add onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until veggies are softened.
- Add tomato paste. Cook for 1 more minute.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup beef stock and cornstarch. Pour mixture in skillet. Add the rest of the broth, Worcestershire, and peas to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Set oven to broil.
- Remove skillet from heat. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, spread beef mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the beef and smooth out on top.
- Place skillet under broiler for about 5 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
- Sprinkle top with smoked paprika, more salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.