St. Patrick’s day can get crazy.While I enjoy the revelry, sometimes I’m just not up for it or would rather have people over to my place then pub crawling on the town. That’s where having a nice St.Patrick’s Day meal can come in. I love to make Shepard’s Pie but I like to mine a little different for the holiday and use Champ instead of regular mashers. Making a basic Champ is easy. Take a normal creamy mashed potato recipe and add white pepper and green onions after you’ve mixed mash to the perfect consistency. Just make sure to slice them paper thin!
As for the quantity of ingredients, it’s up to you. I try to shoot for a an even mix of 50/50 for the mashed potatoes and the filling of the pie. You’ll need about 1/4 pound of lamb, 1/2 an onion, 5 mini carrots, and 1 potato per serving if having sides, if this is the only dish, double the amount.
For my Shepard’s pie, I use ground lamb at about 20% fat. Make sure to pat the mince dry. You don’t want any excess moisture. Make sure to season it with salt, garlic, pepper, and a touch of paprika. Using a bit of olive oil, brown the meat in small batches to get it very brown so it won’t go gray and mealy when you bake it. When the meat is done, set it aside on a paper towel lined plate. Add in your finely diced onions and carrots and saute them until the pick up some color but aren’t mushy. When you veggies are done, spoon them out into a bowl. Add a little butter if you don’t have much fat left in the pan and turn the heat up to high. Add a slurry of Guinness and cornstarch or rice flour to make a gravy, turning it to simmer after about 30 seconds. Stir it vigorously until it’s a thin gravy. Once it’s at the right constancy, pour a small amount into a baking dish so there is a thin layer to rest your filling on. Mix your veggies and your lamb, spreading an even layer across the whole baking dish. Then add a little more gravy, reserving a small amount for serving on top. Add your Champ to the top. Once the Champ is evenly spread, add grated Kerrygold Dubliner cheese all over the top. Place in the oven and bake on 300 for about 10 20 minutes to warm through, then flip the broiler on and melt the cheese. When the cheese is slightly blistered, take it out and top with the rest of the gravy. Serve it with roasted carrots or peas and butter with mint for a perfect compliment!