March is upon us. The month of green and luck. Inevitably it also makes me think of all things Irish. The vacation I some day hope to take, the great accent and the interesting ways that this little island has developed such strong and awesome people.

Traditionally B and I eat corned beef and potatoes on Saint Patrick’s Day. It tends to be the only day of the year that this happens. This winter however B was craving it and we found ourselves making it several times over the season.

This leaves me in a little quandary. Should we corned beef it again on this Saint Patty’s day? While delicious, it has lost a little of its specialness this year.

Hmmm. What else is Irishy?

Lucky Charms? Too commercial

Soda bread? Not really a meal

Tea? Could be confused with the English

Shepard’s Pie! Yes! By George I think she’s got it!

And who had a quick and dirty version? ‘Cause really, who’s got time on a Thursday? My buddy Rach!

Check out the recipe and a video for this dish here on Rachael’s website.

Here is her professional photo:

And here is my real life IforgottotakeaphotobeforeIdivedin photo:


Aside from feeding my inner wanna-be Irish, this is a great, quick meal for any weeknight!

Here’s the recipe:


  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds coarse ground sirloin, pat very dry with paper towels
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup cloudy apple cider or amber beer
  • 2 cups beef stock in a box
  • 1 cup chopped watercress leaves
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag frozen tater tots


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat with oil, 2 turns of the pan. When oil ripples, add meat and brown well, stirring occasionally. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften vegetables, 10-12 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and reduce heat to simmer.

In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in cider or beer. Reduce by half then whisk in stock and thicken to a loose gravy.

Place meat and vegetables in a casserole dish and stir in watercress and gravy. Top with cheddar and tots, and bake until tots are golden and crispy on top.

Thanks Rach!

Lucky Charms and Shepard’s pie



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