Monday, March 17, 2014

Grandma O'Hara's Shepherd's Pie

My character, Max O'Hara is Irish, so St. Patrick's Day was a big deal in her household while she was growing up. One of the things Max missed most during her years in Germany was her grandma's Shepherd's Pie. Grandma is now keeping company with St. Patrick, and Max thinks her Shepherd's Pie is just a memory since Grandma never used a recipe.

Max's chef (the gorgeous hunk of ex-hockey player, Jake Lambert) has tried his best to recreate the dish. Hopefully it will pass muster with Max. Here's his recipe:

Shepherd's Pie

2 lbs ground beef
1/4 stick butter
2 cups chopped sweet onion
2 cups sliced or baby carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup beef or vegetable broth
1 cup peas
Mashed potatoes
Shredded Dubliner Irish cheese

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain and set it aside. In the same skillet, saute the onions and carrots in the butter until soft. Add garlic and saute until it gets lightly browned.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly. Add the beef broth and wine and cook until it begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Add the ground beef and peas and mix thoroughly. Pour into an oven proof dish.

Spread the mashed potatoes over the mixture. Sprinkle with shredded Dubliner or other Irish cheddar. Bake at 375 degrees until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted, approximately 30 minutes.

Serve with scones or soda bread. And a craft brewed stout or ale, of course. Or, remember that bottle of red wine you had to open to add 1/2 cup to this dish? Someone's got to drink it, right?

Here are some photos of the finished product, fresh out of the oven:

Try out the recipe and be sure to let me know what you think!

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