Well, I stood corrected by my Irish friends. Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, but the same, or similar version made with ground beef is called Cottage Pie- and here is the recipe, straight from Dublin! Enjoy and Happy St. Paddy's!
• 2 pounds baking potatoes, (peeled and quartered)
• 6 tablespoons milk
• 4 ounces butter (cubed)
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon lard (or olive oil)
• 1 cup onion (chopped)
• 2 carrots (finely chopped/diced)
• 1 cup white mushrooms (chopped) OR frozen peas
• 1 clove garlic (minced)
• 1 lb ground beef
• 2 cups beef stock
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped) or thyme if you prefer flavour
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
• ½ cup Irish cheddar cheese
Heat the oven to 375 F
Place the potatoes into a pan and cover with boiling water. Boil gently until soft (about 15 minutes) and then drain. Add the milk and butter to the pan, heat through until the butter melts, add the potatoes and mash. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Melt the lard (or oil) in a large, deep ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms OR frozen peas, then add the garlic
and cook for another minute making sure you do not burn the garlic.
Add the ground beef and roughly 1/4 of the beef stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire
sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until all the meat is browned. Add the remaining stock, parsley, and salt and pepper. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes.
Mash the flour into 1 tablespoon butter to form a paste. Add small pieces of the paste to
the ground meat sauce, stirring until all the flour has dissolved, then repeat until all the
paste is used up. The sauce should have thickened slightly.
Place meat mixture into an ovenproof baking dish. Cover with the reserved mashed potatoes. Fluff up the potatoes and then sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the surface is crisp and browned.
Serve immediately and enjoy!