So some may say I’m a marketer’s dream. I love trying new products when I see them at the store. And I love walking around Hobby Lobby and Michaels to look at all the seasonal nick knacks and holiday décor.
I love all the cheesiness that comes with heart shaped treats for Valentine’s Day. Or those pretty pastel colored candies that hit the shelves right before Easter. And you know I certainly love any excuse to throw a special holiday themed dinner or get together.
And based on all those facts, and the fact that this whole blog is covered in cutesy holiday themed parties, crafts and recipes, you would think my house would be covered in various holiday decorations. However, the truth is I honestly only have a handful of holiday trinkets that I put up every season.
A handmade Black and Orange Spider Wreath, pumpkins and a few decorative candy dishes for Halloween; a real, live Christmas tree (covered from tip to trunk in personalized ornaments), stockings, and a few more decorative candy dishes for Christmas and… well… that’s it. I do have a few things for Easter, but never think to pull them out until the last minute and then don’t even care to bother. And nothing really for any other holiday. I guess I need to gather inspiration from all of my holiday Pinterest boards and change this!
Despite the lack of all the cutesy holiday “stuff” we never let a holiday pass by without some sort of festivity! For St. Patrick’s Day, it often means this Guinness Shepherd’s Pie (that was inspired and heavily adapted from this semi homemade version I shared years and years ago) and Irish Cream Cake for dessert!
While I have several Shepherd’s Pie recipes here on Kitchen Concoctions, this by far, is our favorite and the one we make must often, and always for St. Patrick’s Day! The Guinness gravy adds a hearty depth of flavor and every person that I have served this to, who thinks that they don’t like Shepherd’s Pie, is instantly changed, into a Shepherd’s Pie loving Irish… at least for a day! Smile.
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For mashed potato topping:
4 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons milk or half and half
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ teaspoon salt and black pepper, or to taste
For meat and vegetable filling:
1 ½ pounds ground beef or lamb
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 medium onion, diced
1 (8-ounce) package white button mushrooms, finally chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 cup Guinness
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables
For Guinness Gravy:
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup Guinness
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup milk or half and half
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To make mashed potato topping:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until fork tender, approximately 12-15 minutes. Drain completely and return potatoes to pot. Using an electric mixer or hand held potato masher, mash potatoes with sour cream, milk and butter. Continue mashing until potatoes are smooth and creamy. Stir in cheese, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
To make meat filling:
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook meat until no longer pink, breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks. Drain and return cooked beef to pan.
Add steak seasoning and onions, cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Cook for 1-2 minutes then stir in 1 cup Guinness. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beer has almost cooked out, about 7-8 minutes. Pour seasoned ground beef into a 9×13-inch baking dish, and spread into an even layer. Top ground beef with frozen mixed vegetables. Set aside.
To make Guinness gravy: Return large non-stick skillet to stove top and melt 5 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, stir in flour, stirring constantly until a thick, golden brown roux is formed. Stirring constantly, stir in remaining 1 cup Guinness and beef broth. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened. Stir in milk, and cook until heated through.
Pour Guinness gravy over mixed vegetables and beef. Spread prepared mashed potatoes evenly over the mixed vegetables. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes start to brown and casserole is heated through.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with a fresh salad like this Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Orange or Spinach and Pear Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette and this Irish Cream Cake for dessert!
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole
Beef and Vegetable Pot Pie with Rosemary Biscuit Crust
Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie
Hearty Baked Spinach and Tofu Casserole