Monday, March 3, 2014

Cooking with Beer - Beerfuddled Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's pie is a savory meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. This simple and tasty dish originated in Ireland.

It's a well known stereotype that the inhabitants of the Emerald Isle are all a bunch of lushes. True or not, it occurred to me to honor this distinction by beerifying the popular Irish dish.

I used beer in both the cooking of the potatoes and the beef mixture. The result is subtle and delicious.

I used a bottle of home brewed brown ale. Experiment and use what you like.

Beerfuddled Shepherd’s Pie

1 1/2 Lbs Lean Ground Round Beef
1 Onion, Minced
2 Cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, Corn, Peas, Green Beans)
8 Tablespoons Butter
1 12-Oz Bottle Beer
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning 
3 Large Russet Potatoes
4 Oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 Oz Light Cream or Half-n-Half
Fresh Ground Pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place in a large saucepan. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Pour 1 cup of the beer over the potatoes and then add water until the potatoes are covered in liquid. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook until soft; about 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 tablespoons butter in large frying pan over medium heat. Add the minced onions to the melted butter and season with Tony Chachere's. Sauté onions until translucent.

Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. When meat is thoroughly browned add the frozen vegetables. Add Worcestershire sauce and the remaining 1/2 cup of beer. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and mash with the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, cheddar cheese, and cream. Stir in a grind or two of fresh ground pepper. Adjust seasoning according to taste.

Place beef mixture in a baking dish or dutch oven. Spread the mashed potatoes on top.

Bake in a 400° Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely browned.  

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