For the past three years my best friend Katie “the cheese lady” has been throwing a St. Patrick’s day party that has evolved into a local legend… Of course, she had to start this delicious tradition after I moved away. Now I cry myself to sleep at night wishing I could attend her shindig for the week preceding Patty’s day. To pull me out of my bout of seasonal depression, Katie has kindly shared two of her party recipe standbys.
The first one I am going to share with you is her Shepherd’s Pie. Katie says “you can do a lot of substitutions here depending on what is available and what you like, [but] this is [her] personal favorite way to cook Shepherd’s Pie!”
If you can find it, I would highly recommend using the cheese Katie recommends – Boschetto al Tartufo (aged truffle cheese). She is the “cheese lady” after all (no really I mean it, she is a cheese lady – a gourmet food buyer and she specializes in cheese and chocolate – part of her ever growing job description), so trust her suggestion on this one. I guarantee a delicious result!
I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I will be posting her soda bread recipe later with some photos, so stay tuned.
This is a large casserole and should serve 8-12 depending on the size of your troop and their level of hunger.
Katie’s Shepherd’s Pie
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch dice
3 turnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch dice
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup milk
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground lamb
2 oz. bacon diced
1 yellow onion, small dice
4 carrots, small dice
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp onion powder
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup liquid (I use beer, chicken stock or white wine)
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 cup frozen corn kernels
Boschetto al Tartufo or another kind of aged truffle cheese, shredded.
1.) In a large pot, bring the potatoes and parsnips to a boil and cook until tender.
2.) While the potatoes and cooking, in a large skillet brown the lamb and beef over medium high heat. Pour off most of the fat and set aside the browned meat.
3.) Next add the bacon, onions and carrots to the skillet and let cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes until the carrots and onions begin to soften. Then add the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
4.) Add the Worcestershire, tomato paste, parsley, thyme, onion powder, and reserved meat to the skillet and stir together. Then add the liquid, pearl onions and corn. Combine the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, covered for 15 minutes.
5.) Preheat your over to 375°F
6.) While the filling is cooking, drain the potatoes and parsnips and add the butter, milk and cheese. Mash well. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
7.) In a large casserole dish, spread the meat mixture in one even layer, then top with the mashed potatoes and parsnips. Do this carefully, using a flat spatula, to make sure that the meat mixture is covered evenly. Cover with aluminum foil.
8.) Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the foil. Sprinkle with Boschetto al Tartufo cheese, return to the oven and bake until golden brown for another 10 minutes.