Corned Beef & Cabbage Shepherd's Pie

Corned Beef & Cabbage Shepherd's Pie

Corned Beef & Cabbage Shepherd's Pie

This dish was served every year on St. Patrick's Day at the cafe, and it was by far one of the most popular specials we offered!  This original dish combines all of the foods of the holiday (including some Guiness!) into a delectable one-dish meal.  The perfect accompaniment is my Favorite Irish Soda Bread!  Try this dish, and may the luck o' the Irish be with ye!  Serves 6.

2 1/2 pounds of peeled potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 pounds of green cabbage, roughly chopped

1 extra-large onion, sliced (about 3 cups)

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 pint can of Guinness beer

3 Tablespoons flour

3/4 cup light cream

3/4 cup milk

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

salt & pepper

1 1/2 pound diced deli corned beef, or diced cooked corned beef

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Spray a 9 X 13 X 3-inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.  Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with cool water.  Add 2 Tablespoons salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a vigorous simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Drain, and put the cooked potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a bowl (if you haven't either tool, use a old-fashioned hand potato masher and mash until smooth.)  Season with salt, add the butter, and slowly mix in the milk and cream.  Potatoes should be fairly soft in texture, but not runny.  If the potatoes are soft before all the milk is added, omit the remaining milk.  Conversely, if they are really stiff, add more milk until the are soft.

While the potatoes cook, heat a 12-inch deep skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the vegetable oil and when it just starts to shimmer add the onions and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add the cabbage (if using a skillet, do it in batches, allowing each addition to wilt down a bit before adding more) and cook and stir until it begins to soften.  Add the Guinness, a little at a time, it will create steam to hasten the cooking process.  Add the caraway seed and just a little salt and pepper.  (Reserve 1/2 cup of the Guinness.)  Cook until the cabbage and onions are softened (not mushy) and the Guinness has evaporated.  Place the flour in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the reserved Guinness until completely smooth.  Slowly whisk it into the cabbage & onion mixture, cook for a minute until thickened.

Place 1/2 of the cabbage mixture in the baking dish.  Spread the corned beef evenly over the cabbage, then top with the remaining cabbage.  Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the meat and cabbage.  Sprinkle with a bit of black pepper. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until it boils all the way through and the potatoes have browned a bit.  Remove from the oven and allow to stand for about 15 minutes before serving.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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