If you are searching for Irish soul food to make for St. Patrick’s Day, look no further than this meaty, savory comfort-food classic. The rich, creamy vegetable combination is studded with luxurious ground meat, topped with smooth and creamy Yukon gold potatoes with melted Irish butter. Perfect served with a big green crunchy salad on the side.
Ground lamb is the preferred meat, but you can substitute with ground beef. If you choose to use beef, be sure also to substitute beef stock for the chicken stock.
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
½ cup finely diced onion
¼ cup shredded carrot
Fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 pound ground lamb or lean ground beef
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock, or if using ground beef substitute with beef stock
1 tablespoon fresh mint, sliced thin
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup fresh spring peas or frozen, thawed
Mashed Potato Topping (see recipe following)
Butter to grease the baking dish
¼ cup melted Irish butter
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a 12” sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, occasionally stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the tomato paste, cooking until combined, about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook, stirring often, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 30 seconds; stir constantly. Slowly add the stock, stirring to deglaze the pan. Return the vegetables to the sauté pan, add the mint, thyme, and peas Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender about 20 minutes. Uncover the skillet and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes more. Taste and add any salt or pepper as needed.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 8” x 8” square baking dish then add the meat mixture. Completely cover with the mashed potatoes. Pour the Irish Butter over the top the potatoes and lightly sprinkle with salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes just start to brown. Makes six servings.
Mashed Potato Topping
2 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 pounds)
½ cup cream
¼ cup Irish butter
Fresh ground pepper
Peel the potatoes and cut into 2-inch cubes and place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook the potatoes until a small knife can easily pass through the largest potatoes, about 25-30 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, in a small saucepan heat the cream and butter over low heat. When the potatoes are done, strain off all the water and return to the pan. Mash them while still hot and then add half the cream mixture. Continue to mash then add the remaining cream and mash until smooth but with a few small potato pieces here and there. Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste.