Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shepherd’s Pie and Beer Bread

This meal is suitable for March 17, or any day you're feeling particularly Irish (not that it's 100% Irish, but it is 80% made up by me, 20% gleaning from online recipes, and I'm 12.5% Irish, so you do the math). Authenticity level aside, it's yummy, and I'd say well within the spirit of St. Paddy's Day.

For the beer bread:
A beer (Guinnessy type), room temperature
2 ½ cups flour (you could use self-rising flour, or add baking powder, but I'm partial to it chewy so I just use whole wheat)
2 spoonfuls of sugar

Mix flour, sugar and beer together and pour into an oiled baking pan. Drink the second beer from the 6-pack.

For the pie filling:
1 cup TVP, rehydrated
½ or whole onion, chopped
Couple cloves of garlic, minced
About a cup each of peas and carrots (I used half a frozen bag of each)
2 cups broth with a little flour mixed in (or water with Chik’nish seasoning)
Salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary
Oil for pan

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat, then add the TVP, peas and carrots, water or broth, and spices. Simmer covered for 15 or 20 minutes as you drink the third beer from the 6-pack until most but not all the liquid is cooked away. Pour the filling into a casserole dish.

For the pie topping:
2 Yukon gold or russet potatoes
Gob of Earth Balance or butter
Splash of any kind of milk
Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Peel, boil, drain and mash the potatoes, mixing in milk, butter and spices. Scoop and spread on top of the filling in the casserole dish, all the way to the edges to create a seal. Drink the fourth beer from the 6-pack.

Baking both:
Drink the fifth beer from the 6-pack while preheating the oven to 400. Bake the shepherd’s pie for about 20 minutes (until the top starts to brown) and the bread for about 40 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes while drinking the last beer from the 6-pack.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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