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