March is here, spring is around the corner, and Irish food and celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day abound.
Typical St. Patrick’s Day dishes are most notably corned beef and cabbage and soda bread. I dug a little deeper into the history of St. Patrick’s Day and found it to be an American-born celebration. When Irish immigrants came to the United States, ingredients readily available and less expensive in Ireland were not so available in the States. Pork and potatoes became corned beef and cabbage. After this discovery, I searched for more traditional Irish fare and found this yummy and easy one-dish meal, cottage pie.
Cottage pie is similar to shepherd’s pie but is made with ground beef instead of lamb or mutton. In fact, the recipes are primarily the same except for the type of meat used in preparation.
So, enjoy this recipe and if you want to celebrate Irish-American style, dig in and enjoy some corned beef and cabbage, shamrock-shaped sugar cookies and green-colored foods.
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2 pounds peeled potatoes, quartered
6 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup butter, cubed plus 1 tablespoon for sauce
Salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons bacon drippings
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups ground beef
16 ounces beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped white mushrooms
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup grated cheddar cheese/or cheddar blend
Preheat oven to 375°F. Boil the potatoes until soft, drain, add milk and ½ cup butter, and mash. Season to taste and put aside. While potatoes are boiling, melt bacon drippings in a large, deep pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook for five minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic salt and cook for another minute.
Add the ground beef and 2 ounces of the beef stock to the onion and carrot mixture and cook, stirring constantly until all the meat is browned. Add the remaining stock, dried parsley, Worcestershire sauce and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Mash the flour into the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, then add in small pieces to the ground beef sauce, stirring until all the flour has dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly. Cook over low heat as not to break sauce.
Place the meat sauce into an 8-inch-square, approximately 3-inch-deep ceramic or glass oven-proof dish and top with the mashed potato, covering completely. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the potato and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until the surface is crisp and browned. Serve immediately.