Friday, March 15, 2024

Shepherd's Pie for St. Pat's Day, A Book Review and the Weekly Menu

Ground lamb and tender vegetables in a savory gravy topped with mashed potatoes.  This dish is a great alternative for those who don't care for corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick's Day.

Irish Shepherd's Pie
I do serve Boiled Dinner every March in honor of St. Patrick's Day, however as my family has grown and evolved, when I have family gatherings now I have to keep in mind that I have family members who are non-meat eaters but who eat fish and seafood, and family members who cannot eat beef or pork.

This means that I always have at least two or three entrees when we have family dinner.  This year on St. Pat's Day we are celebrating our Russian daughter's birthday.  I am going to make a Whiskey Maple Glazed Corned Beef and this Shepherd's Pie made with Lamb as our entrees.

Still Life

While I was planning our Weekly Menu including this gathering, I was just finishing the novel Still Life by Louise Penny.  My daughter recommended this cozy mystery series that follows Chief Inspector Gamache as he solves murders in the quaint little town of Three Pines in Quebec, Canada.  

The town is filled with many people who have been there for generations and others who have been there for years but are still considered "new" to the town.  In this first novel, a well-loved member of the community is killed after her painting wins a place in an art competition.  

Her friends all gather together to help Gamache and his crew.  Their usual meeting spot is the local cafe/B&B/Antique Store, however, one night they meet at the victim's home on the night she had originally planned a pot-luck gathering.  The owner of the cafe arrives with two Shepherd's Pies.  

I thought it would be a great time to introduce my readers to this series.  I enjoyed the first installment and my daughter says that they get progressively better with each story.  Evidently, there is a film and a series written about these novels called Three Pines.  I haven't checked those out yet.

Here, on the Farm, not only are we having the birthday gathering on St. Pat's Day but we are also having my brother and his wife over for dinner on Friday night to celebrate his birthday.  On Tuesday I am having lunch with my sister and on Thursday night we are going to Cher, the Musical, downtown and will be having dinner out before the show.

Spring Sweets Week is also happening this week so stop by on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for some great Dessert Recipes.

Out after Mass

Sunday-St. Pats/Marina's Birthday
Spinach Artichoke Dip with Crackers
Irish Shepherd's Pie
Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
Buttered Cabbage
Birthday Cake
Ice Cream

Meatless Monday

Taco Tuesday
Reuben Quesadillas (using leftover corned beef)


Out for dinner before the Theater

Fish Friday-Dick's Birthday
Peel and Eat Shrimp
Potato Zucchini Soup
Pan Roasted Salmon
Rissole Potatoes

Entrees, Lamb, Stew, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Irish Shepherd's Pie

Irish Shepherd's Pie

Ground lamb and tender vegetables in a savory gravy topped with mashed potatoes. This dish is a great alternative for those who don't care for corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick's Day.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 15 M


  • 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" dice
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 2 T. sour cream
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 t. thyme
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 c. beef broth
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pkg. (12 oz) frozen mixed vegetables


  1. Place the potatoes into a pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until easily pierced by a fork.
  2. Pour into a colander and allow to drain and cool slightly. Whisk together the sour cream and egg. Mash the potatoes with the butter and milk until smooth. Stir in the sour cream mixture.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, place an oven-safe skillet over med-high heat. Add the lamb, onions, mushrooms and garlic to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until lamb is browned and crumbly and the vegetables are softened.
  4. Add the wine to the skillet and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan until the wine is nearly evaporated. Stir in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Cook and stir for a minute or two, then add the frozen vegetables.
  5. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and remove from heat. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the stew and bake in a preheated 400* oven until the potatoes are lightly browned and the gravy is bubbling around the sides of the potatoes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

28.26 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

13.9 g

Carbs (grams)

35.01 g

Fiber (grams)

2.88 g

Net carbs

32.15 g

Sugar (grams)

5.66 g

Protein (grams)

20.29 g

Sodium (milligrams)

475.17 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

108.83 mg


  1. I've enjoyed quite a few of her Chief Inspector Gamache novels, though am a bit behind on them. You are certainly accommodating with your dinner party menus! Well, luckily we don't have any vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc. family or close friends. Aside from a granddaughter in law who has a bunch of allergies. So, yes planning a meal when she's coming is difficult.

    1. I find it a fun challenge Claudia. I'm enjoying Inspector Gamache

  2. Oh, I can't wait for the weather to cool down a bit more so that I can have Shepherds Pie (or Cottage Pie). I'm happy with either!

    1. Yes and here in the States we enjoy Pot Pies. Same idea but with crust instead of potatoes.


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