St. Patrick’s Day Shepherd’s Pie


Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with Recipes from Jennifer Daskevich

Saint Patrick’s Day celebrates the patron Saint of Ireland and is a day celebrated around the world with food and drink.  The Catholic Church even lifts Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol on this day so proper celebration can be had by all.  Here are some fun recipes to help you celebrate the day.

Aussie Lamb Shepherd’s Pie

Recipe Courtesy Jennifer Daskevich

In honor of Saint Patrick’s time as a Shepherd here is a Shepherd’s pie recipe that can be made ahead and will fill you up so you can enjoy more celebrating!!  The name Shepherd’s pie is often used to describe any mix of meat and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes.  However, it is a name that specifically applies to a dish made with lamb (for the sheep herders) while dishes made with beef are called Cottage Pie.  Many current day recipes use ground meat for Shepherd’s pie which is not actually traditional – when the dish was first created there were no mincers and the pie was created to stretch roasted meats by combining them with potatoes, a crop that was readily available in Ireland. 

Shepherd’s Pie is a classic dish but can be void of flavor.   By following a few easy steps, you can be sure your lamb has great and robust flavor.  This one is made with delicious Australian Lamb Shoulder Chops.  I throw some Guinness into the stew along with some parsnips and carrots (I don’t love peas so I leave them out).  The secret to the golden mash potatoes is a little egg in the mix and then a sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top.

Australian lamb is my favorite lamb to use.  Australian lamb is naturally lean with a clean flavor.  Publix has Aussie Lamb under their Greenwise label so I’m able to easily find it.  Visit to find out where to buy Aussie Lamb near you.

Be sure to do all the cooking for this dish in one big pot to take advantage of all the flavors as they develop.  By dredging the meat first in seasoned flour and then searing and browning the meat you develop a great flavor that will permeate he finished dish.  By leaving the bones in to braise with the stew, you will get a richer more flavorful stew than without the bones.  Once you go with the bones you won’t ever want to make stew without them again – no bones about it.

Ingredients for the Aussie Lamb Stew:

  • 4 ½ pounds Aussie lamb shoulder chops, each 1 to 1 ½ inches thick (available at Publix)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle Guinness beer
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarse
  • 4 carrots Diced
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ½ pound carrots, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Ingredients for the Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese (use a microplane for a fine grate)

  Serves 6

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Cut Aussie Lamb from bones and reserve bones. Trim lamb of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Season generously with salt and pepper then dredge in flour and shake off excess flour.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add half of lamb to pot in a single layer.  Cook on one side until each piece is well-browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn each piece and continue cooking until all sides are well-browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer meat to plate, add another 1 tablespoon oil to pot, and swirl to coat pan bottom. Brown remaining lamb; transfer meat to plate with rest of lamb and set aside.

3. Pour in ½ bottle of Guinness to deglaze pan.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and scrape bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits.  Add in diced carrots and celery and continue cooking until vegetables have browned, about 8 minutes.

4. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of stock, scraping pan bottom and edges with wooden spoon to loosen any remaining browned bits. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups stock, scraping bottom of pan.  Tie together rosemary and thyme with kitchen twine and add to the pot.  Stir in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.   Add bones and then meat and accumulated juices. Return to simmer, cover, and place in oven. Cook for 2 hours.

5.  Remove from oven and let come to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate over night (this step is not necessary but will allow you to easily scrape off the excess fat when you remove from the fridge as it will have risen to the top and solidified.  If skipping this step put in vegetables and cook for another 40 minutes before finishing with potato topping in oven).  Remove from the fridge when ready to serve and scrape off the excess fat with a spoon.  Allow to come to room temperature.  Put carrots and turnips on top of bones and lamb then cook in 250 degree oven until bubbly – about 30-40 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the mashed potatoes (recipe below).  Remove stew from oven and turn on oven broiler.

6. Taste and adjust seasoning with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and stir in remaining half bottle of Guinness.  Spoon stew into individual serving vessels being sure to drain most of the liquid out.  Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan cheese.  Place vessels on a sheet pan and return to oven and broil til potatoes are golden brown.  

7.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve with Guinness or your favorite Irish drink. 

Directions for Mash Potatoes:

Peel the potatoes and cut into ½ inch pieces.  Place in a saucepan and cover with water.  Turn stove to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook potatoes until fork tender – about 15 minutes.  Put the half and half and butter in a large bowl and microwave until warmed.  Using a ricer – rice the potatoes into the half and half and butter mixture and stir to combine.  Whip in the egg yolk until incorporated.  Season to taste with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Aussie Lamb Loin Chops with Kale Pesto

This kale pesto is such a beautiful vibrant green color it is perfect as the center piece of a Saint Patrick’s Day feast. 

Ingredients for Aussie Loin Chops:

  • 4 Aussie Lamb Loin Chops (available at Publix and Costco)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Directions for Aussie Loin Chops:

Season lamb generously on both sides with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Heat a grill pan to high, brush with a bit of olive oil.  Place the lamb in the pan and cook for four minutes then flip and cook for an additional four minutes for medium rare (130 degrees internal temperature.  Turn the lamb on the fatty edge to caramelize and render the fat.  Remove and let rest.  Meanwhile, make the pesto below.  Plate chops and drizzle with pesto.

Kale Pesto

This recipe is soooooo easy and literally takes under five minutes to make.  The extra will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.  The colors are gorgeous, and the sauce is amazing with the Aussie Loin Chops.

Ingredients for Kale Pesto

  • I bag of baby kale
  • 2 cloves raw garlic
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper

Put all ingredients in a food processor.  Puree until well combined (about 45 seconds).  Taste and add lemon, salt or pepper to taste.  Store for up to two weeks.

Avocado Toast

Why avocado toast for Saint Patrick’s day?  Why not?  It’s green and delicious and gives a hearty start for a day of celebration.

  • 6 Slices of Baguette (Cut on a Bias)
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 Plum Tomatoes
  • ¼  Red Onion
  • Smoked Salmon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush bread with olive oil and cook until crispy – about ten minutes.  Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes and season with kosher salt.  Dice the red onion and rinse.  Rinsing will take away the bitter flavor that is released when the onion is diced.  Mash the Avocado and season with salt.  Remove Bread from oven.  Divide Avocado among bread.  Top with tomato, onion, and samon.  Enjoy!!


About our Guest:

Jennifer is a co-owner of the Deviled Pig with her partners Lee Ann Whippen, Larry Oliphant and Jay Bickel.  The Deviled Pig is a Tampa original serving up Smoked Meats, Sandwiches, and Barbecue.  Jennifer is also the founder of Sandwich America, and an award winning competitive cook, lawyer, wine sommelier, award winning food photographer and budding foodie entrepreneur – Jennifer’s life is more than just “A Little Gourmet Every Day” – it’s a full sprint living buffet.

In addition to her multiple TV appearances, including her winning role in FYI’s Original Series World Food Championships, Jennifer competes and wins major competitions regularly.  Jennifer is the 2013/2014 World Sandwich Champion, the 2015 Chevron Game Day Chef of the Year, and the 2016 Gnarly Head Grilling Nation Ribs Contest, amongst many wins. 

For information on the Deviled Pig visit and follow them on Instagram   For more recipes from Jennifer visit and

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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