Cottage Pie

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many ways. Some go to their local pubs to drink green beer and eat bangers and mash.

In Chicago, they dye the river green, a tradition since 1961. Parades are big, and New York hosts the largest and oldest, the first having been held 1762. 

Not being of Irish decent, I find it’s an interesting day. The only Irish dish I’m familiar with is Corned Beef and Cabbage. Wanting to include a traditional meal for the celebrated day and a change from the cabbage dish, I did a little research. I found that Cottage Pie fits the bill. 

Cottage Pie is similar to Shepherd’s Pie, a dish familiar to many of us. The only difference is that Cottage Pie is made with ground beef and Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb. That makes sense when you think about it – a shepherd and his sheep – one way to keep the two straight. This comfort food is a very easy to prepare.


1½ pounds of ground beef (80/20)
5 medium carrots thinly sliced
2 medium onions finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of flour (gluten free)
2 teaspoons of thyme
2 teaspoons of rosemary
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1½ teaspoons of salt
¼ teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of beef broth
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 to 3 cups of mashed potatoes
2 to 3 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

6 medium white potatoes
1 stick of butter
½ cup of heavy cream
½ cup of milk (depending on desired consistency)



Preheat your oven to 375°

Place the ground beef, carrots, onions and garlic in a large pan and cook over medium heat until the meat is brown and the onions are translucent. Add the rosemary, thyme, flour, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, broth and tomato paste and stir until well blended. Taste for seasoning.

For the mashed potatoes, peel and halve the potatoes and then place in a pot, covered water by one inch. Bring to a boil and then cook over medium heat for 15 minutes and then check to see if they’re tender. (Don’t overcook the potatoes.) Once the potatoes are done, drain them and then put back in the pot. Mash them with butter. Then with a hand mixer whip the potatoes, slowly adding milk and cream for desired consistency.

Evenly spread the beef mixture in an 8-by-11 baking dish and then spread the potatoes evenly over the beef. Top off the dish with the shredded sharp cheddar and place in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with peas, and you have yourself a traditional Irish supper.