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Monday, March 17, 2014

It's a great day to be IRISH......

Enjoying St. Patrick's Day festivities with my Italian guy....who happily indulges me and let's me dress him up Irish!

Everyone has a little spec of Irish in them on St. Patrick's Day.
Even if it's just that green shirt you are wearing or that green shamrock in your hair or that little bit of Irish attitude you have.  Or, maybe it's the Guinness or the Jamison's....
If you want just a little more might want to try this Irish-inspired recipe that a lovely Irish friend shared with me.
Even though I sport 50% Irish blood...I never made Sheperd's Pie before.  That's what happens when you were raised by a good Italian mother and wonderful Italian aunts.....
As a matter of fact, I never even considered making Shepard's Pie.  That's what happens when you were raised by a good Italian mother and wonderful Italian aunts..... 
But, when I saw this recipe had red wine and parmesean cheese, I knew it would be okay.  That's what happens when you were raised by a good Italian mother and wonderful Italian aunts.

Thankfully, that 100% Italian mother of mine made sure we knew we were Irish.  She decked us out in green from head to toe and dutifully took us to the St. Patrick's Day parade to witness our father and uncle march with the AOH and the Knights of Equity.   Then, she let my father and uncle squire us around to be adored by their tipsy Irish friends at all the pubs. And, she clapped along as we danced to Irish tunes and sang those Irish songs our grandmother would teach us.   And, even though we cried each St. Patrick's Day when she made corned beef and cabbage for my dad and my uncle, she made it.  
Because she loved an Irishman.....

Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe got rave reviews when I served it yesterday....

serves 8, prep 20 min, cook 40 min
  • 2 tbsp oil, divided
  • 12 oz white mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 8 oz red wine, divided
  • 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground lamb or beef
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 2 medium zucchini, julienned
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes (6 medium yellow potatoes, 4 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup cream)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. If you happen to have left-over mashed potatoes skip to step 2.  Boil diced potatoes in salted water until soft, about 30 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Butter a large casserole dish.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add sliced mushrooms.  Saute mushrooms until soft and brown.  Add 2 oz red wine to the hot pan, stirring and scraping the pan.  Remove mushrooms to a plate.
  4. Wipe out the pan and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, heat to medium.
  5. Saute carrots until beginning to soften, then add onion and garlic.
  6. When onions are soft add ground meat and brown, breaking meat into large chunks.
  7. When meat is browned, season with salt, pepper and thyme.  Add mushrooms, peas and 1 tbsp butter.
  8. Sprinkle mixture with flour and stir.  Then add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and remaining 6 oz wine.
  9. Cook and stir mixture for several minutes.  Add stock and simmer until sauce is thick and somewhat reduced.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in zucchini.  Season to taste.
  11. Pour meat mixture into the prepared casserole.
  12. Drain and mash potatoes with butter and cream as needed.
  13. Spoon mashed potatoes over meat and spread and smooth the top.
  14. Brush potatoes with a beaten egg and sprinkle with Parmesan.
  15. Bake casserole 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbling and potatoes are browned. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I never commented but I wanted to tell you that you have the bluest eyes I have ever seen. You look great and you seem to enjoy life. I can't wait to do the same now that I am banded!