Wednesday, March 13, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Recipes : Shepherd's Pie & Roasted Parsnips

Day 2 of St. Patrick's Day recipes..... Did you try the Colcannon recipe from Monday? Wasn't it good? My husband said that I definitely need to make it again... and we have been eating lots of leftovers (without complaint)- it made a really big batch.

The meal that I am sharing today is really good comfort food! It smelled so good while it was in the oven... I have made Shepherd's Pie before but never with red wine, so when I came across a recipe which included red wine, I thought I would give it a try. It added a delicious richness to the dish, and the family was fighting over the leftovers for lunch the next day! I used half ground beef and half lean ground turkey to lighten it up a bit- and honestly it was so rich and delicious, you would never know it was made from ground turkey.

As for the parsnips, the first time I ever had them was on a trip to England a few years ago. My husband's cousin made them for dinner and I just couldn't get enough! If you haven't tried them, you should- they are a nice change of pace from the "normal" vegetables I usually serve like peas or carrots or broccoli. They look like white carrots, but have a unique, kind of sharp flavor which is especially wonderful when you roast them. The recipe is really simple and the maple syrup adds just a tiny bit of sweetness and helps them to caramelize. Hard to believe that veggies could be so good.... I wanted to eat the whole pan by myself. My daughter and I were debating which was better- the parsnips or the Shepherd's Pie- and we couldn't decide.

Roasted Parsnips

1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4" x 3" pieces
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper

Place parsnips in a glass or ceramic baking dish in a shallow layer (you don't want the parsnips to be crowded, because they won't caramelize properly. I find that a heavy ceramic casserole, about 9 x 13", works well.) Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Bake uncovered in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time, and checking on them frequently to be sure they don't burn. Bake until tender.

Shepherd's Pie

1 T. olive oil
2 onions, finely diced (about 2 cups)
1 1/4 pound ground beef
1 1/4 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon butter
1- 16 oz package frozen peas and carrots mix
4 Tablespoons flour
1 cup red wine
3 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
4 -5 cups mashed potatoes (fresh or leftover; about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onion in olive oil in large skillet until translucent; remove to bowl.
In same skillet, brown meat; drain. Add onions back to pan with meat. Season with thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in butter and peas and carrots.

Sprinkle with flour and stir. Add wine, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat about 5-10 minutes until liquid has evaporated. Add water and cook another 10 minutes until thickened.

Place in greased 9 x 13 baking dish.

Mix together mashed potatoes and cheese. Spoon over top of meat mixture.

Bake 20 minutes, covered. Remove cover and bake another 5 minutes.
Makes about 8 servings.

Next post: Irish Potato Candy (it doesn't contain potatoes, it just looks like cute little potatoes.)

P.S. Congratulations to the winner of last week's giveaway- Amy from Amy's Crafty Shenanigans. Everyone had such good suggestions for using up fabric and batting scraps, I ended up just choosing a winner at random. Congratulations Amy, your copy of Quiltmaker magazine is on its way!


  1. I'd give the Shep's Pie a try. Yours came out looking a lot different to the one(s) I make. But as you say, the red wine should make it fine.  ツ

  2. Yes it was different than any Shepherd's Pie I'd tried before but we really liked it. Wine always adds a different dimension to the flavors... Don't know if I'd make it like this all the time, I also like the "lighter" flavor of the one without wine.



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