Lamb & Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

For as long as January felt, we blinked and here we are in the middle of March. While March is exciting for those young enough for Spring Break, for us young adults, mid-March means St. Patrick’s Day. There are two easy ways to approach a St. Patrick’s Day menu- green themed or traditional. This year we have gone the traditional route by starting our menu with Lamb & Guinness Shepherd’s Pie. Can you get any better than topping savory stew with creamy mashed potatoes? We don’t think so. 

Adding Guinness to this recipe adds to the Irish theme and also brings a hearty, almost bitter taste to the stew. This balances out the richness of the lamb and mashed potatoes. We’ve used a standard frozen vegetable mix in this version of the recipe, but if you decide to make this in the summer months, feel free to substitute for fresh veggies of your choosing.

Lamb & Guinness Shepherd’s Pie
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes   Cooking Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients For the Potatoes:

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tbs butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Filling: 

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 lb ground lamb 
  • 2 tbs tomato paste 
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tbs flour 
  • 1 Guinness beer (16 oz) 
  • 3 cups frozen vegetable medley, thawed in the microwave
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into medium, even sized pieces. Put them in a large pot and cover with cool water by an inch or so. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. . Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
  3. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher and add the butter and milk. Continue to mash until they are creamy and to the texture of your liking. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Start the filling by heating a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, carrots, garlic, rosemary and thyme.. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the onions star to caramelize.
  5. Season the lamb well with salt and pepper. Add the lamb to the pot and brown for roughly 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire, and flour to the pan and stir well to evenly distribute. Cook another 3 minutes. Add the Guinness and stir with a whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a low simmer. Cook the lamb mixture for 15 minutes, uncovered. Add the vegetable medley to the mix and gently stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spray each of the four ramekins (or a deep 9 x 9 x 2 baking dish) with cooking spray. Evenly distribute the filling among for four ramekins or into an even layer in a baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes, being sure to completely spread the potatoes to the edges to create a seal over the filling. Bake the shepherd’s pies for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown. If they haven’t browned in the 20 minutes, turn your oven onto a high broil and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Let the shepherd’s pie rest for at least 10 minutes out of the oven before serving. 

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