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This shepherd’s pie recipe makes a delicious St. Patrick’s Day main dish


By: Deano Vino

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day Wednesday, our resident food-wine connoisseur, Deano Vino, shares one of his go-to recipes for the traditional shepherd’s pie.

“I have several different recipes that I use,” he said. “I have made this particular recipe several times with great success.

“Shepherd's pie is not shepherd's pie unless it is made with lamb,” he added. “If it is made with any other type of protein, it is cottage pie.”

A natural accompaniment for St. Patrick’s Day is a bottle of Stout Irish Beer or Guinness, but Deano Vino says a Bordeaux-style wine would also be nice.

Potato topping

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet Vidalia onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or Irish Stout Beer)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Additional Topping

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

For the potato topping: Peel and cube the potatoes into 1-inch dice. Put in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Season the water with salt and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and pass through a ricer. Add the milk, sour cream, melted butter and egg yolks to the potatoes and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, shaking the pan occasionally so the onions brown on all sides, until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large oven-safe shallow braising pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and rosemary and cook, stirring often, until the onions are slightly browned and soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the lamb is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, flour and sherry vinegar and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, peas and carrots and pearl onions and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.

For the additional topping: Top the lamb mixture with an even layer of the potato topping. Drizzle with the melted butter and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Transfer to the oven and bake until the topping is lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Garnish with additional parsley.