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Celtic Comfort Food

Celtic Comfort Food

On March 17, Fiesta's kitchens become as verdant as hills of clover and as lively as wee lads and lasses. Even our aprons take on a shade of shamrocks.

Irish Flag - Éire

Hum a few bars of "Danny Boy" and have a cuppa or a pint: We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Irish comfort food -- perfect for warding off the final chills of winter and greeting the first green of spring.

Corned beef & cabbage are readily a top-of-mind choice for St. Pat's, so our cooks explored additional warm, hearty foods from the Emerald Isle. One Dubliner-turned-Texan suggested that we try the humble and delicious Shepherd's Pie.

The result was a casserole-like dish that delighted us with purely Irish charm. We hope you enjoy it as well.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh ("Happy St. Patrick's Day to you")!

Shepherd's Pie

Prep Time: 20 min.

Cook Time: 30 min.


1 lb., ground beef or lamb
6 cups, mashed potatoes 
(yes, you may use instant potatoes to save time; we won't tell!)
2 cups, mixture of diced carrots and peas 
(again, feel free to use frozen peas & carrots to save time)
l large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons, flour
2 tablespoons, melted butter
2 tablespoons, Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons, tomato paste
1 cup, beef stock
½ cup, red wine or Guinness® stout
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons of dried thyme)
salt & pepper to taste


Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use half of the melted butter (about a tablespoon) to sauté the diced onions 'til they're soft, then add thyme and the beef/lamb; brown the meat mixture. Skim off the fat and add the peas & carrots.

Gradually stir in the flour, and then add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and wine/Guinness®. Stir and then simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Add the beef stock and continue to simmer, uncovered, for another minute or two. (The mixture should have the consistency of a minced stew.) Use salt and/or pepper to taste.

Place the mixture in a lightly-greased 9x13 baking dish. Layer the mashed potatoes on top, and brush them with the other half of the melted butter. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes (or until the potatoes start to brown just a bit). Ideally, let the dish rest for about 10 minutes before serving, but feel free to dig in if you can't wait that long. 






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