A Bite o' the Irish: Lamb and Guinness Shepherd's Pie

4 years ago

I’ve mentioned a few times in other posts that Ryan is a “pie guy.” When we first met, without realizing they were all pies, he said his favorite foods were chicken potpie, shepherd’s pie, and banana cream pie. Over the years I’ve made some of these dishes for him. I’ve also expanded his food horizons quite a bit, which is a trait that comes from my family. I am pretty sure my mom would brag that she is not, in any way, a pie lady. We rarely (if ever) had those dishes growing up. The words “pie” and “casserole” were only mythical dishes from another world. So when I ventured into making this Lamb and Guinness Shepherd’s Pie for Ryan and the guys last week, I’ll be totally honest in saying that it was my first time making a shepherd’s pie.

The great news for me is that it was fabulous. So much so that it’s already on request for another dinner this spring training. For those of you still in colder weather, this is a great dish for you to try this week. Braised lamb, earthy spices like thyme and rosemary, lots of vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes. What more could anyone ask for? I guess they could ask for a beer. Which I’ve included too. Just like the Beer and Cheese Bread I posted earlier this week, the beer in this shepherd’s pie gives the broth the rich taste of barley. It makes an already hearty dish even more so, and adds a savory sweetness that complements the gamy taste of lamb. I served these in individual “potpie” dishes, or ramekins, which I think adds a nice touch. It also keeps everything in layers as you eat it, as opposed to plopping a pile of mess down on a plate. You can get them at Home Goods, BBB, or any kitchen store as an early St. Patrick’s Day gift!

Lamb and Guinness Shepherd’s Pie
Prep time
35 mins
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
1 hour
Author: Cooking in Red Socks
Serves: 4 large servings
  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 1 tbs butter
  • ⅓ – ½ cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Thyme leaves for garnish
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme, minced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 1 lb lamb shoulder, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 Guinness beer
  • ⅔ cup frozen corn
  • ⅔ cup frozen peas
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into large, even pieces. Put them in a large pot and cover with cool water by an inch or so. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
  3. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher and add the butter and milk. Continue to mash until they are creamy and to the texture of your liking. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Start the filling by heating a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions star to caramelize.
  5. Season the lamb well with salt and pepper. Add the lamb to the pot and brown on all sides, for roughly 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire and flour to the pan and stir well to evenly distribute. Cook another 3 minutes. Add the Guinness and stir with a whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Add the corn and peas (still frozen) to mix and gently stir just to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spray each of the four ramekins (or a 9x9-inch baking dish) with cooking spray. Evenly distribute the filling among for four ramekins. Top with mashed potatoes, using a spoon to give them a rustic, wavy look in the bowls.
  8. Bake the shepherd’s pies for 20 minutes on the middle rack in your oven. After the 20 minutes, turn the oven onto the LOW broil setting. Bake another 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are a nice golden brown with some crispy edges. Top with fresh thyme to serve.

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