It's time to start planning St. Patty day festivities! In honor of the upcoming - 'Wearing of the green' I've been working on some Irish recipes. The first is Shepherd's Pie - this was my and Hubby's first experience with Shepherd's Pie. I really enjoyed trying the recipe... but in the end we only voted it a 3 out of 5. Ok... Hubs would probably say 2.5 out of 5 because the recipe called for peas. Even still I would try another version (sans peas) because I think if we found just the right one... we would really enjoy this hearty, simple dish.
Roasted Garlic Potatoes:
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Tb Olive oil
- 5 medium/large potatoes
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup beef or chicken broth
- 4 Tb butter
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- To roast garlic: Garlic cloves should still be enclosed in their papery wrapping - cut in half. Coat a baking dish with the olive oil; add garlic cloves. Rub cloves all around in the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes; until cloves have slightly darkened and are soft. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Potatoes: Wash potatoes and peel. Cut into pieces approx 2" x 2" and place in a large stock pot. Cover potatoes with cold water (couple inches above the potato 'level') and bring to a boil. Boil until soft - keep an eye on the potatoes, you do not want them to over cook or you will have 'elastic potatoes!' Drain.
- Pour potatoes into a large bowl - mash them while hot!! I mashed by hand - what can I say, I enjoy it! - by slowly adding all remaining ingredients. First butter - mash mash mash. Then sour cream - mash mash mash. Lastly the broth- 1/2 cup mash mash mash. 1/2 cup - mash mash mash. Don't add broth all at once so you can monitor the consistency, since I wanted very smooth potatoes perfect for spreading I used the entire cup of broth.
- Grab garlic - they should be cool to touch now. Carefully squeeze - the garlic should just pop out of the shell! Give them a good rough chop and stir into potatoes.
- Set this deliciousness aside. Or out of sight. We kept eating it.
- 1 lb ground meat: lamb (traditional), beef or I used venison
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tb tomato paste
- 1 Tb flour
- 1 cup broth, chicken or beef; or 12 oz. beer
- 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook bacon until crispy. Remove and place on paper towels to drain; then crumble. Remove all but a couple tablespoons of the bacon grease; add onions and saute on medium heat until they become translucent. Sprinkle onions with sugar and continue to saute until caramelized. Add ground meat; cook until browned. Drain if necessary and return to pan.
- Add carrots (cut small!), peas & garlic; cook until veggies begin to soften. (Cover if you like, this will speed up the cooking process!). Next, add tomato paste and flour; stir until well blended.
- Pour in broth/beer and bring to a boil; finish cooking carrots. Be sure to scrap all the little bits from the bottom of the pan. Add final ingredients: bacon, rosemary and salt. Reduce heat and simmer until thick. The consistency reminded me of a sloppy joes.
- Pour filling into a 10-inch baking dish; spread evenly. Carefully top with potatoes - spreading evenly! That obviously didn't work for me.... Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove and top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese and 1 Tb chopped parsley - return to oven & broil until cheese is melted and potatoes start to slightly brown.