St. Patrick’s Day is a fun one around our house. This year, we started the day with green waffles, bacon, fruit, washable beards, and green accessories! O was a bit hesitant to put on a beard at first which is why he was “Angry Leprechaun” instead of his sister: “Excited Leprechaun”!
For supper, we wanted to avoid the food dye to give our guts a break, so instead I decided to make a traditional Irish meal. Bangers and mash is obviously the first one that comes to mind – alas, no sausages in the freezer. Second up is Shepherd’s Pie! This one is easy to make, and you should have all the ingredients on hand. It also doubles as a single pan meal, which I love! I find it makes mealtime struggles non-existent because it’s all mixed together so they can’t find any one part of the plate to avoid.
1. We start by browning 2 lb of ground beef with one medium onion in a frying pan. Then drain off the excess fat, and pour all of it into a 9×13 baking dish. Next we add in the 1 cup of frozen peas and 1 cup of frozen corn. (This will become cooked when we bake the dish.)
2. Next, we dice up the carrots and potatoes into separate pots. (The smaller the pieces, the faster they cook.) Boil for about 15-20 minutes, then drain and mash. I used a pastry blender to mash them, because I like a few chunks in my mash, but if you’d prefer it smooth then you can go for the hand mixer!
3. Once mashed, add the carrots in an even layer over the casserole. I then put in my layer of shredded cheese, followed by the mashed potatoes.
4. Next, I made sure everything was spread evenly through the pan, then pressed the whole pan down with a fork and added 1/4 cup of butter evenly over the dish. (The potatoes were still hot so the butter melted immediately.)
5. Now we bake! Put the whole thing into a preheated oven at 350F for 20 minutes. (If you want a crispy topping, then bump your oven up to a broil for the last 5 minutes of cooking.) Et voila! A beautifully layered full meal on the plate! We served ours with brown gravy on the side, that part is up to you! 🙂
Old Fashioned Shepherd’s Pie
2 lb ground beef
1 medium onion
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
8-10 medium potatoes
10-12 medium carrots
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
Instant gravy mix (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Brown ground beef and onion together in a frying pan. When fully cooked, drain off excess fat and add mixture to 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Pour frozen peas and corn evenly into baking dish.
- Dice (peeling optional) potatoes and carrots into separate pots and boil on the stove for 15-20 minutes until soft. Mash potatoes and carrots.
- Spread mashed carrots evenly into baking dish.
- Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over carrots.
- Spread mashed potatoes evenly into baking dish. Drop butter on top of potatoes until melted and spread evenly over the potatoes. Press down with a fork.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. For a crispy top coating, increase oven to a broil (500F) for last 5 minutes of baking.
- Serve with instant gravy (optional), and enjoy! 🙂