St. Patrick’s Day is here and I thought I would share one of my favorite Irish recipes with you. Now, I understand there is some debate about the actual geographic origins of Shepard’s Pie and that there is also his brother called Cottage Pie, and who is who depends on who you talk to. I however, firmly stick to my argument that this is an Irish recipe, not because I have a copy of it’s birth certificate, but because this recipe was given to me by a full-blooded Irish descendant, who happened to be my Mother-in-law for a time.
This recipe is both easy and delicious. A claim made by many, upheld by few, and in this case quite true. Now, some might turn their nose because most of these ingredients come from pouches and cans. Certainly, if you have all day to shop for fresh veggies and inexhaustible arm muscles to chop all of them into little pieces, more power to you. I do not however, but I argue even though it does not use fresh ingredients, this recipe still delivers on flavor. I think it’s even better on the second day, once all the juices really have a chance to settle in and mingle together.
Mother-in-Law’s Shepard’s Pie
- 2-3 lbs. Ground Beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 can Veg-all Mixed Vegetables, 29 oz (or two 15 oz cans)
- 1 can Bush’s Baked Beans, 28 oz (or two 16oz cans)
- 2 packets of instant mashed potatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Saute diced onion in a skillet. Once onion starts to turn transparent, add ground beef. Cook ground beef, crumbling it as it browns, until all pink is gone. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drain onion and beef mix and add to a very large mixing bowl.
- Start preparing the liquid for the instant mashed potatoes.
- While liquid is coming to temperature, add veg-all and baked beans to bowl with beef and onions. Mix well.
- Transfer mixture into baking dish (I usually end up having to use two baking dishes for it all) leaving a 1/2 to 1″ empty space below the rim.
- Finish preparing the mashed potatoes. Spoon potatoes on top of beef and vegetable mixture, covering entire top of baking dish.
- Bake at 400º for 20 minutes or until mashed potatoes become golden brown.
So, if you didn’t have an Irish meal on the menu for tonight, or didn’t have anything yet on the menu, stop by the store and grab these few things, and you can have yourself an ‘authentic’ Irish dish in no time at all! Erin go Bragh!