I love pulling this recipe out in the fall. It combines one of my favourite meats — lamb — with one of my favourite beers — Guinness.
5 medium sized potatoes
1 Tbsp butter
1/4-1/2 cup of milk
1.5 lbs of ground lamb
2 ribs of celery
2 bell peppers
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 cup of Guinness
2 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp sage (fresh or dried)
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by cutting the potatoes into equal sized chunks and placing in a salted pot of water. Boil the potatoes until you can easily slide a fork in and out. Drain the water and let the potatoes rest in the pot, allowing the steam to evaporate for 5-10 minutes. Then add your butter and milk to the pot and smash them until you have your desired texture for mashed potatoes and set aside.
Next, dice all of your vegetables except for the peas, and place in a deep oiled pan over medium high heat.
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Sautée until all the vegetables have soften. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside. In the same pan on medium high heat, sautée the lamb until it begins to brown. Add your vegetable mixture back to the pan, along with the peas, thyme and sage. Once the mixture is sizzling, add the half cup of Guinness and allow it to reduce for 3-5 minutes.
After the mixture has thickened slightly, transfer to your preferred baking dish. Then carefully dole out the mashed potatoes, being certain to seal the edges of the dish with the mash — this will ensure none of the delicious Guinness sauce leaks out.
Place the dish on a foil-covered baking pan — this will catch any leakage if it occurs — and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let your browned shepherd’s pie rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it, and serve with the other half of your Guinness tall can (assuming you didn’t drink it already).