Tuesday, March 23, 2010
well, maybe the tip of my pinky is, if you go back far enough along the roots of the tree... but, I wouldn’t consider myself Irish. St. Patrick’s Day has always made me feel a little left out. A) not Irish. B) don’t drink alcohol. And there you go - the only reasons to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day up in smoke.
I didn’t even wear green on the 17th. (I’m admitting this after the fact, so none of you can go and pinch me now... I didn’t even know about that pinching thing until this year...) However, when my mom requested the recipe below, I decided that I would make it this week in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. (Yes, I know it’s belated, but that’s often the case with me...)
So, here it is: Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie
OK, no, that’s not my Shepherd’s Pie. Apparently that is what this recipe is SUPPOSED to look like. Mine didn’t. Mine looked like this:
Not quite as appetizing.
My big flaw here is that I thought I had more potatoes on hand to make into homemade mashed potatoes. I figured homemade mashed are so much better than the flakes... but when I started cutting them up to boil them, I saw there just weren’t that many left in the cupboard. Plus, after I did mash them up they were very sticky - unlike any mashed potatoes I have ever made before, so it was hard to layer them over the top. Mom said this was due to the starch content (apparently the starchier the potato, the stickier, who knew?). Side note: kudos to mr. for doing the actual mashing for me!
The only thing I did differently than the recipe is use beef stock instead of chicken stock (on accident. In the ingredients it lists “stock” but doesn’t specify. I figured since it was a beef dish, you would use beef stock. I guess you shouldn’t make assumptions!) But even with the beef stock, the gravy was really good - thick and meaty. Next time I will be careful about the potatoes I use, but that’s the only change I’ll make.
For a side I did something of my own creation.
I took crescent rolls, laid them out, brushed them with olive oil combined with fresh basil, put a few cherry tomatoes on, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese, rolled them up, sprinkled the top with a bit more olive oil and basil and cheese, then baked at 350 for 15 minutes. They were pretty good - kind of an easy more pastry-like take on bruschetta toasts.
And then the grand finale - my favorite part of the night, of course. The dessert. Buttermilk Pie. If you have not tried this, you must. When mr. and I lived in Utah, we would get buttermilk pie for a treat from one of our favorite restaurants. When I saw buttermilk pie in Martha Stewart a few weeks ago, I had to try it out. It was NOT what we remembered and though my parents liked it, we were disappointed. So, I was determined to find a better recipe that was more like the one we remembered. I found this one on Recipezaar and am so grateful for the guy who posted it! It was phenomenal. It was nice and crisp on top and smooth and creamy in the middle! I served mine with raspberries in their juice and homemade whipped cream. (If you don’t know how to whip your own cream, you can see my post here. It’s ridiculously easy).
(Don't cringe at the amount of butter and sugar... I know you are. It's not everyday you make a pie like this!) You could do what we did and click on both links, make both pies and compare. Or you could just trust me on this one and make the recipezaar version.
This pie recipe is definitely going in the Mueller cookbook. You know, it’s a good thing I only make dessert once a week. As it is, it’s a wonder I’m not 600 pounds!
In short, try the shepherd’s pie if you’re Irish, like meat and gravy, or have some decent potatoes laying around that you’re wondering what to do with. And try the buttermilk pie if you eat. Seriously. Try it.
Here is bug, enjoying his pie and especially his "razbees." When I set the shepherd's pie on the table he said, "Oooh, cake!" and then when we dished it up for him he said, "beef cake!" So shepherd's pie is officially called Beef Cake in our house...