Monday, April 18, 2011

#99 Irish Shepherd's Pie with Sausage

It is long past St.Patricks day and we are not celebrating an Irish tradition today.  Since the girls are adults now we do not paint eggs or go egg hunting anymore for Easter either.  Oh by the way.. let me wish a very Happy Easter to all those who celebrate it!!
I baked this pie especially for V to take back with her since her exams are next week and it would help her if she had an extra pie in her fridge. It is a twist on a traditional favorite using hot sausage instead of ground lamb or beef with  a touch of Tex-Mex!!

We're not talking too much about festivals today. Since this is an all-time favorite dish for both my girls, I couldn't help but look into the origins of a rustic dish such as this.. so here goes...........
The origin of Shepherd's pie dates back to the 1870's when mincing machines made the shredding of meat easier. Frugal peasant housewives looking for creative ways to serve leftover meat to their families, made this and topped it with potatoes to subsitute for the shortage of meat. Shepherd's Pie has always been and still is a staple of traditional Irish cooking but, there is a general agreement that it originated in the north of England and Scotland where there are a large number of sheep and hence traditionally made from ground lamb. If I had used beef instead, then this pie would be called "Cottage Pie". Naming conventions aside, the Shepherd's Pie is essentially a casserole lined with cooked meat and vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes and then baked. The saucy meat and vegetables were 'kicked up a notch" with the addition of one chipotle pepper.

Ground Sausage meat- 1 lb
Onions- 1 chopped fine
Garlic chopped- 1.2 tspn
Frozen Mixed vegetables with corn- 1/2 cup
All purpose flour- 1 Tblspn
Red Wine Vinegar- 2 Tblspn
Chipotle pepper- 1 cut fine
Tomato Paste- 2 Tblspn
Worcestershire Sauce- 2 Tblspn
Butter-1 Tblspn
Chicken Broth- 1 cup
Dried Thyme leaves- 1 tspn
For Potato Crust:
Russet Potatoes-2 boiled with skin
Mascarpone Cheese- 2 Tblspn
Pepper Jack Cheese grated- 1 cup
Cream- 4 Tblspns
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
2. Saute chopped onions in butter until they are soft, add frozen vegetables  season with thyme and pepper.Keep aside.
3. Place a saucepan over the fire and add the crumbled sausage and saute until brown. Drain the fat off and then add flour.
4. Saute for 1 minute to cook the flour and then add the tomato paste and chipotle, saute for another minute or two.
5. Add the Chicken Broth and vegetables mix well and let cook with red wine vinegar until the mixture is thick and saucy.
6. Take a pie dish or foil dish good for baking the pie and fill it with the mixture spread well.
7. Take the skin off of the potatoes, cut into cubes & toss into a pot. Add egg, cream, salt, pepper and the cheeses and mash well. You can see in the last picture above, how the addition of one egg adds so much crunchiness to the crust.
8. I gave this a whisk with the hand blender to make it a bit more fluffy and then spread it(if you prefer you may pipe it with an icing bag) over the Meat mixture in the pie dish.
9. Smooth the top and place in the middle rack of the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until the top crust is browned.
10. Remove and sprinkle with extra cheese or paprika and serve.


  1. Hi Malli - thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    I love Shepherd's Pie and your version, with chipotle and mascarpone is definitely a notch above most that I've seen!

  2. I love Shepherd's pie... I've never made it with sausage, so next time I'll have to give it a try!

  3. Thank you so much for the sweet comment you left on my blog! I've been having so much fun exploring your beautiful blog, and your Irish Shepherd's Pie looks fantastic!

  4. I love Shepherd's pie so much that I pretty much began my blog with it.

    Although, I've tried many variations...I can't say I ever added interesting ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  5. I love a good shepherd's pie, its fabulous comfort food.
    *kisses* HH

  6. Great post! I'm your newest member.

  7. Looks delicious! It's been a long time since I've eaten Sheperd's Pie :)

    Malli, I've tag u in an Easter Game @ 5 Recipes To Celebrate Easter!! Pls come & join in the party :) Happy Easter!


It’s always a pleasure to get feedback from all our readers. Please leave your name or contact info. Thanks for stopping by!

Print Friendly

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF