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Thread: Gettin' my Irish on

  1. #1
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Gettin' my Irish on

    The annual D/FW Irish Festival was held this weekend, but my wife suffered a hairline fracture in one of the bones of her left foot last week, and still isn't in any condition to walk around something like that. So I decided to bring a taste of the Emerald Isle home instead. After a quick trip to a local market I ended up with...among other things...this assortment of goodies:

    (Large Version)


    Swampy will know where this went...

    (Large Version)


    Shepherd's Pie (none of that Cottage Pie nonsense, mind you...a proper minced-lamb pie).

    (Large Version)


    We both agreed that it could use some minor tweaks...mostly just a little more of a few things (salt, rosemary, thyme and wine)...but that it was still quite good, especially for a first stab at it. I used the first recipe I found that sounded legit, but in addition to it requiring the aforementioned ingredient adjustments, I had to wonder whether or not the author had ever actually made this recipe him/herself. They claimed that it could go into the oven in either a full-sized cast iron skillet or a standard 9" pie pan, but with the amounts of the major ingredients given there was just no way. I used a 10" skillet that is both wider and deeper than a 9" pie plate, and I still had to remove about 1/3 of both the finished meat filling to get it all to fit, and also had about 1/3 of the mashed potatoes left over. Not a waste, mind you, as I put both in some Tupperware to use for something else later. But keep that in mind as I repeat the recipe below and scale it accordingly:

    Topping
    2.5 lbs potatoes (I used Yukon Golds)
    3 Tbsp unsalted butter
    0.25 cup heavy cream
    1 Tbsp chopped parsley
    Salt & pepper to taste

    1. Cut potatoes into roughtly 1" cubes. The recipe called for peeling them first, but I prefer skin-on mashed 'taters, so the skins stayed.
    2. Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until soft enough to easily cut with a fork.
    3. Combine all ingredients and mash, then set aside while you make the filling.



    Filling
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    1 cup yellow onion, chopped
    2 large cloves garlic, minced
    2 lbs ground lamb
    3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    3 Tbsp tomato paste
    1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dried
    1 Tbsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
    1 Tbsp chopped parsley
    1 tsp paprika
    1 cup beef stock
    0.5 cup red wine (syrah/shiraz is a good choice, but whatever)
    2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    10 oz frozen peas & carrots
    Salt & pepper to taste

    1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
    2. Sauté the onions in the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. You just want them translucent, not caramelized. This will take about 3-4 minutes. You can use either an oven-safe skillet or transfer everything to something that is oven safe after the filling is done. But I know we all have cast iron.
    3. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, being careful to not let it burn.
    4. Add the ground lamb and cook, breaking it up and stirring until browned.
    5. Drain as much of the fat as you can before proceeding.
    6. Add flour, stir and cook until that is browned as well.
    7. Stir in tomato paste and all seasonings.
    8. Stir in the stock, wine, Worcestershire and veggies. Cook and stir constantly until thickened. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
    9. Level out the filling as best you can and then cover it completely with the mashed potatoes.
    10. Put the skillet on a baking sheet (don't skip this unless you enjoy stuff dripping out onto the bottom of your oven and the consequences of that) on a high rack in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes.
    11. To finish browning the potatoes, switch to "broil" and go for another 5 minutes.
    12. Pull it out. It's done.


    Sláinte.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    That looks fantastic. I might have to give this a try.

    I had to wonder whether or not the author had ever actually made this recipe him/herself.
    When I made my summer sausage for the first time I had to cross my fingers that the author knew what they were doing. It was so salty, it was hard to eat. Makes you wonder.

    Thanks for posting. This is a favorite of mine but our recipe is way more generic than what you listed and I'm sure not as tasty.
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    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

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    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    This is a favorite of mine but our recipe is way more generic than what you listed and I'm sure not as tasty.
    Eh, don't be too sure. As I said, it's good for a first try, but while not quite what I'd call "bland" it definitely needs the seasoning to be kicked up a notch. Just a little more S&P, and maybe double the rosemary & thyme. It's also just a hair on the dry side for my tastes, which is another reason to increase the amount of wine to something like 3/4 cup or so.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

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    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post

    (Large Version)


    Swampy will know where this went...
    I knew as soon as I saw the pic, before I saw that you knew that I'd know, and by the power of faeries you might say even before you knew that I'd see that you knew that I'd know.

    (Large Version)


    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    Shepherd's Pie (none of that Cottage Pie nonsense, mind you...a proper minced-lamb pie).
    I salute you! LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    Sláinte.
    To your health as well.







    Sláinte Mhaith/The Cat In The Attic/The Cat In The Attic ---- Tommy Sands




  5. #5
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    Shepherd's Pie (none of that Cottage Pie nonsense, mind you...a proper minced-lamb pie).
    I salute you! LOL
    To pick up some tips on how I might improve this one, I spent late last night watching YT videos of people offering their own takes on the dish...which turned out to be a mistake. The number of numb-nuts who were presuming to "teach you how to make Shepherd's Pie" while using ground beef and explaining, "Some people use lamb instead...and you can certainly do that if you want to..." had me wanting to throw something through my T.V. like when I watch phony-baloney cowboy wannabes showing me their bean-laden "Texas chili". There oughta' be a law.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  6. #6
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Although lamb was hard to come by, my grandmother on my mother's side would make a mean shepherd's pie on special occasions. It was tasty and hearty, not bland but not strikingly full of flavors, either. I doubt she used too many seasonings. I'd like to try this recipe and do a little comparison, from memory unfortunately, as all her recipes seem to have gone with her to the Great Kitchen In The Sky, including those for all her incredible cakes and pies and especially her amazing cinnamon buns. (This reminds me that of all my many cousins, one of the only two girls might know something. I will have to find an excuse to be in touch, LOL.)

    The Irish get a bit of a bad rep for bad cooking, but I guess her line went back far enough in the States that she picked up a few things, LOL. I never knew my grandmother on my father's side as she died when he was a boy, and while she was not "off the boat," that side of the family was "Irish as Paddy's pig."

    If Dad's mom and Mom's mom had ever had a cook-off, it would be interesting to see who'd take home the Pot o' Gold.



  7. #7
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    To pick up some tips on how I might improve this one, I spent late last night watching YT videos of people offering their own takes on the dish...which turned out to be a mistake. The number of numb-nuts who were presuming to "teach you how to make Shepherd's Pie" while using ground beef and explaining, "Some people use lamb instead...and you can certainly do that if you want to..." had me wanting to throw something through my T.V. like when I watch phony-baloney cowboy wannabes showing me their bean-laden "Texas chili". There oughta' be a law.
    LOL ...



    Lamb: Try it, you'll like it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    Although lamb was hard to come by, my grandmother on my mother's side would make a mean shepherd's pie on special occasions. It was tasty and hearty, not bland but not strikingly full of flavors, either. I doubt she used too many seasonings. I'd like to try this recipe and do a little comparison, from memory unfortunately, as all her recipes seem to have gone with her to the Great Kitchen In The Sky, including those for all her incredible cakes and pies and especially her amazing cinnamon buns. (This reminds me that of all my many cousins, one of the only two girls might know something. I will have to find an excuse to be in touch, LOL.)
    While I'm generally a small government sort, I've often thought that there should be a public service provided to grandmothers that would allow them to submit their recipes and other cooking wisdom to secure virtual storage that would remain secret during their lifetime, but then become public domain upon their demise. This would allow them to retain their air of domestic culinary mystique while simultaneously preventing tragic burning-of-the-Alexandria-library type losses of kitchen wisdom of the sort you describe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    The Irish get a bit of a bad rep for bad cooking, but I guess her line went back far enough in the States that she picked up a few things, LOL.
    I bought into that until we went. Not only was every meal we had in pubs delicious, the proprieters of our B&B served some of the best breakfasts I've ever eaten.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    I've watched a bunch of those, both before and after our trip, and while many (most?) can get pretty cringe-worthy (and who knew there were so many gay soy-boys in Ireland?), the quasi-Svengali-looking guy at the beginning is always entertaining...especially when they're evaluating adult beverages. But the ones that really bug me are the "Irish People Try (insert some type of U.S. food/beverage)" ones, where half the things they have them eat/drink don't even remotely represent the stated category. Case in point:



    Because nothing exemplifies Texas cuisine like chicken wings, mushroom soup and pork ribs. Sorry, but even the proper bowl of chili, chicken fried steak and pecan pie don't redeem that one.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  9. #9
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    Lamb: Try it, you'll like it.
    So I tried it! I thought I was gonna' die....

    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  10. #10
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    LOL ....



    "Mama mia! That's a spicy meatball!"

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