Yield: 4 Servings Prep Time: 2 hours Cook Time: 1 hour
I had so much fun with my husband on Saturday! We had absolutely no obligations and were free to do whatever we wanted. We slept in, eventually put on a pot of coffee, then decided that in honor of St. Patty’s Day we would go to Anchor in Minneapolis for a bite and a couple pints. It’s a small place where everyone crowds in the doorway waiting for the next table to turn. The menu is just as simple and has the classic Irish/English fare. Look at this Heinz beans painting. I love it!
The cod was thick cut and lightly battered. It had a beautiful golden crust with a crunch but the inside was so tender and flaky. We have now decided to make Saturday lunch a tradition and will be eating and imbibing at a new restaurant once a week. What a fun person I spend my life with!!! After lunch we walked to another pub down the street since we thought it wouldn’t be proper to celebrate St. Patty’s Day without a bit of Jameson!
So here I am on Sunday morning
wanting needing something comforting for Sunday dinner to soak up all of yesterday’s fun. With a name like Erin, it would be a disgrace to not celebrate this very fun holiday with some Irish fare!
So after doing a little research, research meaning…what am I craving, I decided on shepherd’s pie. Since it’s Sunday and a holiday I kicked it up a notch with lamb shanks, a hefty stout, some creamed leeks, and an Irish cheddar mashed potato topping to really make this baby sing. The lamb shanks made this amazing gravy that has the richness of a veal demi-glace without the time and money. Sooooo comforting and delicious!
- 2.5 pounds lamb shanks, bone-in
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 small onion, quartered with skins on
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 1/4 cup stout beer
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp. flour
Potatoes and Carrots:
- 1.5 pounds russet potatoes
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup half-n-half
- 1/2 cup Irish cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced thin and washed thoroughly
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- pinch nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Rub lamb shanks with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and whole cloves. Place lamb and quartered onions in roasting pan.
- Roast lamb for 40 minutes. Turn shanks, add thyme and rosemary, and roast for another 40 minutes.
- Remove roasting pan from oven. Pour stout, broth, and water over lamb. Cover roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil and return to oven to braise for another 45 minutes. Bake potatoes at the same time by piercing with a fork and placing on lower rack for 45 minutes.
- Reduce oven to 350F. Transfer lamb to a plate to cool. Strain liquid through a colander, reserving onions. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add carrots for 10 minutes. Remove carrots and place in an ice bath to immediately stop cooking.
- Once lamb has cooled, shred meat removing all fat.
- Once potatoes have cooled, mash with a fork, add 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/3 cup half-n-half, and 1/2 cup Irish cheddar.
- In a skillet melt 2 Tbsp. butter. Add onions and leeks and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cream, Parmesan, salt, and nutmeg and stir until thickened about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Next, deglaze roasting pan with 1 1/4 cups chicken broth. Spoon off as much fat as possible. Whisk in 1 Tbsp. flour and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add shredded lamb to gravy.
- Pour lamb/gravy mixture into a gratin dish. Layer with carrots, leeks, and finally mashed potatoes. Run a fork over the top of the mashed potatoes. This will create more surface area for the potatoes to crisp up in the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour until potatoes are browned on top. Serve immediately.