The Flavor of the Emerald Isle is Easy as Pie!

Once again, we find ourselves celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Here in the Ohio Valley, most of us have at least a smidgen of Irish blood flowing through our veins. But on March 17, we all tend to be sons (or daughters) of Erin.

One of the classic recipes in Irish cuisine is Shepherd’s Pie. The origins of this simple comfort food are unclear, though by most accounts it originated on Great Britain, as a simple dish to utilize leftover meats (the term Shepherd’s Pie seems to have come from Northern England and Scotland, where there are large numbers of sheep). What’s the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie? The type of meat. Shepherd’s pie is typically made with lamb. Cottage pie is typically made with beef.

Although recipes similar to Shepherd’s pie have existed for centuries, it wasn’t until potatoes became a common staple in the 1700s that the dish took on its current form. Prior to that, most recipes utilized a pastry crust, rather than potatoes.

Although this recipe is a simple, basic dish to prepare, having CVap® equipment at my disposal made it so much easier. And the results were delicious!

Plated Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

Mashed Potatoes

  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup green peas
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 8 oz beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1.5 lbs ground lamb

Bake potatoes in a CVap RTV Retherm Oven At 200 air / 250 vapor (legacy setting 200 +50) for 35 minutes.

Prepare cream and butter mixture for mashed potatoes.

Sauté onions until translucent, then add garlic and carrots. Simmer until carrots begin to soften, then add ground lamb. Stir occasionally, until lamb is completely browned. Add peas and corn. Season with salt & pepper.

Mashed potatoes – add cream butter mixture to cooked potatoes and mash, add salt & pepper, once completely mashed, stir in egg yolk.

Move cooked veggie-lamb mixture to dish, and dollop mashed potatoes throughout, then spread potatoes over the top of lamb and vegetables.

Bake for 30-35 min in CVap Retherm Oven at 180 Vapor, 330 Air(189 + 150 for legacy CVap Retherm Ovens).

Potatoes party


The results were satisfying and delicious; simple, savory flavors that were just the thing to warm a chilly March afternoon.

There are countless variations of this basic recipe. Shepherdess Pie is vegetarian (or {blech} vegan). Cumberland pie adds a breadcrumb or pastry crust. Some recipe call for turkey or ham as the protein. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

To make it a proper St. Patrick’s Day celebration, I suggest a Bordeaux, a complex wine that goes great with a dish like shepherd’s pie. Its earthy and savory flavors will match well. Pinot noir is another great pairing. It’s bright and easy to drink, and will match up well with the sweet vegetables in this dish.

If you are like me, and are more a beer person, a nice dry Irish stout should pair really well!