Irish Shepherd's Pie

Serves 6

Potato Topping

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 Tbsp butter

1/3 cup sour cream

1 large egg

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup Irish Cheese, or cheddar, grated


2 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/4 pound lean round steak, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

1 cup pearl onions

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp oregano

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 cup beef stock, divided

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2 Tbsp red wine

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup Irish Cheese, or cheddar, grated

2 Tbsp parsley or green tops of scallions for garnish

Boil potatoes in water until fork tender. Drain potatoes well. Add butter to the potatoes. Mix together the sour cream, egg, and heavy cream. Combine the mixture with the potatoes and mash until smooth. Stir in the 1/2 cup cheese. If the potatoes are too thick, stir in some more cream. Set aside for later.

While the potatoes are boiling, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil then the cubes of round steak. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Brown the meat for 5-7 minutes. Pour off any excess oil, leaving a little. Add the chopped carrots, celery, crushed garlic, onion and oregano to the meat. Cook together for another 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Add 1/2 cup beef stock to the meat mixture and cover with a lid. Simmer until carrots are tender.

In another skillet over medium heat, make a roux by melting the butter and adding the flour. Stir together for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup of beef stock and Worcestershire Sauce until there are no lumps and it is smooth. Continue whisking while adding 1 Tbsp tomato paste and 2 Tbsp wine. Thicken to a gravy about 2 minutes. Add sea salt and ground pepper. Taste. Adjust the sauce to taste. More wine, salt and pepper may be desired. Pour gravy onto the meat and vegetable mixture. Stir in the peas. Set aside.

Preheat the broiler to high. Spoon the meat, vegetable and gravy mixture into a small casserole dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the meat. Top the potatoes with Irish cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with parsley or chopped scallions (green tops only) and serve.