Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by making shepherd's pie

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:16 am

I admit it: I am addicted to serious cooking and food-related shows. I only watch programs which go beyond the usual basics. One of these is Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’. I am aware that there is a script and a director, but listening to arrogant restaurant owners argue with this established chef about the hazards lurking in the walk-in, and how their unique menu is better than anything that Gordon has in mind, just cracks me up. Recently, I was inspired by an episode featuring a failing Irish pub and their dismal Shepherd’s Pie. Realizing that it was time to look into the domestic origins of this venerable classic, I started with pubs in general.

Irish pubs have existed almost from the beginning of American history. As the population of this country expanded in the 19th century, so did the influx of Irish immigrants. They brought their memories of home cooking and love of drink. Google “Irish Pubs in America” or “History of Irish Pubs” and the results will give you web links for everything from the lore of pubs in any given city to new publications on the subject. Many pubs are as well known for their food as they are for their libations. Menus are available on most pub’s websites. A few are eclectic or just plain odd. Others are ‘fusion’ concepts of Irish, Asian, Mexican and/or American dishes. Kettle chips with cheese, corned beef and garnishes? Spring rolls with corned beef? Irish nachos? Why not? Any of these concoctions probably go down well with a pint of stout or porter. Some, however, may best be enjoyed through a protective haze of Jameson’s.

In the Central and Sacramento valleys, there are quite a number of establishments with ‘Pub’ in their title. Even for non-imbibers, the food alone may well be worth a try. But if pub crawls are not your thing, there is absolutely no reason to leave home to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day when Irish home cooking and the company of your nearest and dearest is as far as your own kitchen. Start with Shepherd’s Pie. Let the shenanigans commence!

Shepherd’s pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prep ingredients.

Filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground lamb, beef or turkey

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (leaves only), minced or 2 teaspoons dry, crumbled

1 tablespoon fresh thyme (leaves only), minced or 2 teaspoons dry, crumbled

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 large carrot, grated

1 large yellow onion, grated

Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 small can tomato paste

1/2 cup dry red wine

Mash together:

1 1/2 pounds gold potatoes (not minis), peeled, chopped in even pieces

1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half, warmed

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

Few grinds of fresh pepper

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Boil potatoes in water to cover, until tender. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add meat, crumbling quickly into the heated oil. Stir meat until brown and in tiny pieces. Add herbs and garlic; stirring to combine. Add shredded vegetables and continue to stir until everything is almost caramelized, somewhat dry and with a minced consistency. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and wine. Continue to cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Taste for seasonings, adding more if necessary.

When potatoes are ready, drain well and return to pot. Mash potatoes with their ingredients, adding egg yolks last and very quickly. Scoop filling into a 2-quart oven-safe dish and then spoon potato mixture over the top. Spread topping over meat with the bottom of the spoon and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until potatoes are browned. Serves 6-8.

Lori Bowles was raised in Southern California. She is currently serving on the board of directors as the advertising and publicity chair for the Lodi Bowmen Inc. She lives in Lodi with her husband Jeff and has three children and five grandchildren. She enjoys cooking, reading about cooking and reading about cooking while eating.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Featured Events

CREATE AN EVENT

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists