Shepherd's Pie with Porter & Shallot Gravy

For St. Patty's Day this year I decided to make a classic Irish dish, but with a twist — I've added a rich porter and shallot gravy. I like shepherd's pie, but I've always found it to be a little dry and in need of some flavor help.

This gravy adds a deep, rich and complex flavor. The Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter that I used is described this way on their site:
Very dark, fairly full in body and packed with flavor. Intense, dry tangy character of roasted barley.
I haven't had any Taddy in years, but I remembered how bold it is. It was just what I was looking for.

I was almost sure that the rest of family wouldn't care for the gravy, but to my surprise they liked it. My eldest daughter said that it would be good on eggs, but I'm not sure about that. What I do know is that it's really good on this dish.

Let's get a wee bit o' the Irish on!

2 lb Ground beef, lamb, or a mixture of both
6 cups Mashed potatoes, prepared in advance
2 cups Beef broth
2 cups Frozed peas and carrots
1 medium White onion, chopped to 1/4" (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 clove Garlic, minced (about 1 tsp)
4 Tbsp All-purpose flour
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped fine
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Thyme, chopped fine
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Pepper

Gravy Ingredients
2 cups Porter beer
1 cup Beef broth
1/2 medium Shallot, minced (about 3 Tbsp)
1/4 cup All-purpose flour
3 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Light brown sugar
1 tsp Pepper

For the pie

Melt the butter in large sauteuse or saute pan over medium-high heat.

Add the onion and sweat until they are soft and translucent.

Add the peas and carrots to the pan, stir, then remove the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350º.

Return the pan to the heat, add the meat, and brown (do not drain).

Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir well to combine.

Add the garlic, broth, herbs, salt and pepper to the pan and mix well.

Bring the mixture to a slight boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half.

Add the vegetable mixture to the pan, stir and remove from the heat.

Spread the meat and vegetable mixture evenly in the bottom of a greased large oval or 9" x 13" baking dish.

Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the meat.

Bake for 30 minutes then remove the pie from the oven and set aside.

For the gravy

Return the pan to the heat at medium-high.

Sweat the shallots until they are translucent, then remove to a bowl and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter.

When the butter is foaming, add the flour and whisk very well to make a roux.

Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the roux starts to develop a nutty aroma (about two minutes).

Reduce the heat to medium and add the porter and broth.

Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth with no lumps.

Return the shallots to the pan and add the remaining ingredients.

Bring the mixture just to a light boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook another five minutes.

Remove the gravy to a bowl.

Shepherd's Pie with Porter & Shallot Gravy

Serve the pie with a good amount of the gravy and enjoy!

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Blogger Chris said...
Dude, that gravy could have been a post all on it's on! I can imagine how great that would be on so many things like roast beef, a baked potato, and stone ground grits.

Bookmarked to try soon!
Blogger Unknown said...
Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate the kind words. I think you could even use that gravy as tanning lotion. :-P
Blogger John said...
Ah, John Dawson, I believe you have done it again. I am trying to figure why I never thought of gravy on Shepard's Pie. A good, strong, dark beer if we can not find the Porter?
Blogger Unknown said...
Yep, Guinness is ubiquitous, and a good choice.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Blogger Memória said...
Oh, that gravy looks amazing! I guess I could make this with extra beef broth instead of using alcohol, since I don't consume the stuff. I love the addition of Worcestershire! Fantastic photos.
Blogger Unknown said...
Memória - The gravy just won't be the same without the beer. Of course all of the alcohol cooks out completely.
Blogger Unknown said...
P.S. You could use a non-alcoholic beer like Kaliber.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
John, I've never heard of this porter beer, what is it and where can I buy it, if I couldn't find it I thought about trying a boulevard or guiness
Blogger Unknown said...
Anonymous - The recipe includes a link to the Taddy porter. I don't know where you can get it because I don't know where you are. It's popular, so any store with a good variety of imported beers should carry it.
Anonymous Paul from Michigan said...
John, I make a shepherds pie at the bbq joint I toil at. It's served on a buffet we have once a week. People like it and eat it up but I too considered it to dry. I'm going to give your take on it a go and see what happens! Thanks!

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