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By Joan Reeves aka SlingWords
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Saturday Share Recipe: Irish Cottage Pie

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Since it’s the month we celebrate all things Irish, I thought I’d share an easy to make recipe for Irish  Cottage Pie.

You probably have all the ingredients to make this so bake it for dinner tonight.

Irish Cottage Pie

Most people probably call this Shepherd’s Pie, but in Ireland a Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb.

A Cottage Pie is made with beef, usually ground beef. If you want to get fancy, you can have your butcher grind up beef short ribs and use that instead of a package of ground beef.

Cottage Pie harks back to 18th century England when the potato was being introduced as a cheap food for the poor. The dish became popular among people living in modest cottages hence the name.

Ingredients for Meat Filling

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I buy the stuff in a squeeze tube.)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for Mashed Potato Topping

1/2 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons of butter + 1 tablespoon to be melted and brushed on top
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 -4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks (The number of potatoes depends on what you view as large. Should be enough that when mashed will cover the top of the meat pie.)
water to cover
1 teaspoon salt
Directions for Potatoes
  • Boil until done.
  • Mash with 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Mash or cream the potatoes until they’re smooth and have no lumps.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Set aside until Meat Filling is ready.

Directions for Meat Filling

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion and carrots until soft but not browned—about about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl for use later.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper over the ground beef and brown it, breaking it into a nice crumble.
  • If it has a high fat content, drain some of the grease off, but leave enough to combine with the flour to make the roux for the gravy.
  • Add the flour and whisk well, Let it brown for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the broth, tomato paste, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the gravy to thicken and reduce a little. If it gets to thick, add a little more broth to the consistency you like.
  • Add the vegetables back into the pan and mix well.

How to Put It Together

  • Pour the mixture into a large pie plate, casserole dish, or leave in the skillet if it’s oven-proof.
  • Spread it out evenly in the baking pan.
  • Pipe the mashed potatoes over the top of the meat mixture or spread them if you don’t want to go to a lot of trouble.
  • Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter and brush over the mashed potatoes.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, or until potatoes are browned and the meat mixture is bubbling.
  • Serve with a salad and/or green vegetables of your choice.
  • Wait for the compliments!
Read an Irish Romance

While you’re waiting for this to bake, read a short story Irish Romance like Liam’s Wild Irish Rose, only 99¢. 

Takeaway Truth

I’m making Cottage Pie tonight. Let me know if you try it and like it.

Joan Reeves aka SlingWords: The Word Slinging Adventures of Joan Reeves


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